Renault South Africa has launched its raciest Mégane yet with the RS Cup manual and RS Lux EDC as well as adding an entry level Expression specification to the range.
The new Mégane RS was first unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2017, and enhancements over the previous generation include a chassis equipped with the 4Control four-wheel steering system and four hydraulic bump stop shock absorbers, a new generation 1,8-litre turbo engine, delivering 205 kW and 390 Nm and technological features, such as RS Vision and Multi-Sense.
Since the first generation of Mégane RS was released in 2003, greater performance and more technology has been a constant, offering improved driving pleasure without sacrificing the car’s versatility for everyday use.
“We are proud to have produced a car with improved cornering efficiency, largely due to the introduction of 4Control. The system improves both agility on tight corners and stability on fast bends, on the road and on the track. Drawing on the brand’s vast motorsport heritage, New Renault Mégane RS has been designed by people who are passionate about cars for people who love to drive. Its versatility also makes it perfectly suited to everyday use,” says Patrice Ratti, Managing Director, Renault Sport Cars.
“After having been involved in the development process during 2017, I am very proud to be the ambassador for New Renault Mégane RS.
“I had the opportunity to drive the car at various racetracks – Monaco, Montlhéry and Spa-Francorchamps – and I was impressed by the efficiency of the latest on-board technologies. The 4Control system is a dream come true for every driver looking for efficiency, since it improves both the agility and the stability of the car.
“It is a shame that four-wheel steering systems are banned in Formula 1!” says Nico Hülkenberg, Renault Sport Formula One Team driver and Renault Sport Cars ambassador.
On the new Mégane RS the specific body sides mean the wings have been widened by 60 mm at the front and 45 mm at the back (in comparison to the Mégane GT). With the ride height lowered by 5 mm compared with Mégane GT and new 18-inch or 19-inch wheels, these new proportions make the car naturally more aggressive.
This design is boosted by:
• A wide air intake in the front bumper that incorporates the F1-style front blade, a hallmark of Renault Sport styling that reflects the brand’s involvement in Formula 1. The blade’s Gun Metal Grey satin-finish colour contrasts with the brilliant shine of the bodywork;
• A 3D honeycomb-pattern grill mesh reinterpreted by Renault Sport;
• Sculpted, sides inherited from the design of Renault Mégane are accentuated by the wider front and rear tracks;
• Wing-mounted air extractors, which optimise air flow through the wheel arches;
• A side sill establishes a link between the front and the rear, the black blade of which evokes the undertray of a Formula 1 car;
• A redesigned, narrower rear spoiler to improve aerodynamic performance. Whilst emphasising the width of the car, the vertical vents contribute to aerodynamic efficiency by providing improved lateral air flow;
• A rear bumper with a built-in diffuser and the iconic central exhaust that has come to epitomise Mégane RS, enhanced by a decorative trim;
• Improved efficiency of the diffuser compared with the previous generation. Whilst boosting the sporty feel of the design, this aerodynamic component helps to increase downforce;
• The Brembo brake callipers are painted red on the Cup chassis for instant recognition to enthusiasts.
Provided as standard on the Sport and Cup chassis, the four-wheel steering system is a world first in the compact sports car segment.
The 4Control system delivers impressive cornering stability at higher speeds:
• At low speeds, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels, up to a maximum angle of 2,7 degrees. The 4Control system really comes into its own on twisty, winding roads, the 20% more direct steering delivering incisive handling. The settings chosen deliver better entry on corners and a ‘playful’ side that is unprecedented on a front-wheel drive car.
• At high speeds, the front and rear wheels turn in the same direction, limited to a one-degree angle for the rear wheels. With the rear wheels perfectly aligned, the driver enjoys increased stability, and a relaxed yet sporty driving experience.
• The switchover point is set at 60 km/h. This is increased to 100 km/h in Race mode. As this mode is intended to be used when driving on racetracks, the higher cornering speeds encountered explain this specific setting. The 4Control system then helps drivers in positioning the car on the right line through corners, enabling them to get back on the accelerator as soon as possible.
Up front is an independent steering-axis front suspension and the front axle of New Mégane RS has been entirely redesigned in order to adapt the negative offset geometry to the width of the 19-inch wheels and increase rigidity.
The braking system has been improved, and the diameter of the front brake discs has been increased to 355 mm (+15 mm compared with the previous generation).
The second brand new feature on the chassis of New Mégane RS is hidden in its suspension. Once again, Renault Sport has raised the bar by fitting the hydraulic compression stops to all four shock absorbers.
This rallying-inspired technology involves integrating a ‘shock absorber within the shock absorber’. As the end of travel is approached, a secondary piston dampens the movement of the wheel before the bump stop.
By dissipating the energy without transferring it to the wheel – as a traditional bump stop would – the compression hydraulic stops help avoid any rebound and pendulum effects, enabling optimum control of tyre-ground contact.
The RS comes with a brand new version of the 1,8-litre direct injection turbo engine, derived from synergies with the Renault-Nissan Alliance. This version develops a power output of 205 kW at 6 000 r/min and a peak torque of 390 Nm available from 2 400 r/min to 4 800 r/min.
In order to achieve the required performances, Renault Sport’s engine specialists designed a completely new cylinder head and the air intake was redesigned with the addition of a second air inlet and a new, larger filter element.
Inside, an R-Link 2 touchscreen tablet – vertical 8,7-inch screen – can be used to manage all of the vehicle’s features: activate ADAS, manage the MULTI-SENSE modes, RS Monitor, etc. An audio system developed in conjunction with engineers from Bose – featuring a central loudspeaker at the front, eight other speakers spread around the cabin and a subwoofer integrated in the luggage compartment – provides precise, clear and balanced sound.
New Mégane’s Expression model is powered by Renault’s 84 kW 1,6-litre engine and mated with a five-speed manual gear box.
Two New Mégane Dynamique variants are now both powered by Renault’s Energy TCe130 97 kW (1,2-litre) engine and there are two transmission options: seven-speed dual-clutch (EDC) auto gear box or six-speed manual gear box.
RECOMMENDED RETAIL PRICING
– Mégane Expression 84kW R 274 900
– Mégane Dynamique Manual 97kW R 314 900
– Mégane Dynamique EDC 97kW R 344 900
– New Mégane RS 280 Cup 205kW Manual R 549 900
– New Mégane RS 280 EDC Lux 205kW EDC R 549 900
As with Renault’s entire product range, the Renault Megane models come standard with a 5-year/150 000 km mechanical warranty, a 3-year/45 000 km service plan (with service intervals at 15 000 km intervals on the core range and 10 000 km on RS models) and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty.