Pricing revealed for new Renault Megane RS hot hatch
RENAULT is readying to race into the competitive hot hatch market with a feisty new small car.
The French brand has revealed details of the coming Megane RS, which is due to land in Australia from September before deliveries start in November.
The manual version is from $44,990 (before on-roads) and for the first time there is an automatic, from $47,490.
The price tag puts the French hatch above the likes of the Hyundai i30 N and Volkswagen Golf GTI but cheaper than hardcore machines such as the Honda Civic Type R.
Extra goodies in the Megane RS in part justify the increased spend.
Power comes from a 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbo (205kW/390Nm). The outputs are superior to those of the Hyundai (202kW/378Nm) and VW (169kW/350Nm) but below the radical Civic Type R (228kW/400Nm).
Potential RS buyers can choose a six-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch auto. However, the sportier Cup chassis is available as a manual only.
The Megane also comes with damper control with four drive modes: comfort, normal, sport and race, with each altering the engine note, stability settings and gear shift patterns.
In a first for the hot hatch class, the Megane RS features four-wheel steering. This turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the fronts at lower speeds for greater agility in cornering and in the same direction as the front wheels at higher speeds to enhance cornering stability.
The Megane RS is fitted with large Brembo brakes and 19-inch alloy wheels, while a rear spoiler and diffuser assist with aerodynamics.
On the inside the RS scores numerous cosmetic upgrades including sports seats, chrome-plated door sills, leather-trimmed steering wheel, rear-view camera with parking sensors and 8.7-inch tablet-style touchscreen.
Race data and telemetry are recorded by about 40 sensors that provide the driver with real-time data such as lap times, acceleration, braking and wheel angle.
Renault has beefed up the RS's safety credentials with a range of active driver aids such as adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning.
Renault Australia managing director Andrew Moore believes that the new Megane RS can be successful in the competitive small performance car market.
"The high level of standard specification announced today - including the availability of an automatic transmission for the first time - combined with the highly competitive price means that the all-new Megane R.S. is poised to shake-up the competitive local hot hatch market," he says.
Potential buyers will be able to test drive the Megane RS from September.