Although everyone knew how it will look like and what is capable of, the Megane RS made its official debut today at the Geneva Motor Show. With an addition 25 hp and a choice of sport suspensions, the new Megane RS will go on sale later this year.
The new Megane Renault Sport is powered by a new-generation 2-litre 16-valve turbocharged petrol engine which boasts maximum power of 250hp at 5,500rpm and peak torque of 340Nm from 3,000rpm. It is available with a choice of two chassis: the ’Sport’ chassis or the ’Cup’ chassis, which comes with a limited slip differential for even greater traction.
It also features: front bumper that incorporates the LED daytime running lights, 18-inch aluminium alloy rims, central exhaust tailpipe and rear diffuser. On the interior the RS features sports seats, analogue rev-counter with visual and audible gearshift indicator, aluminum pedal cover and RS logo on the headrests, rev-counter background and dashboard.
Press release after the jump.
As the latest in a long line of Renault sporting models, New Mégane Renault Sport stands out through its exhilarating performance and handling. The cocktail of its 250hp engine, unmistakable sporting coupé credentials and choice of two chassis (’Sport’ and ’Cup’ with limited slip differential) is clear evidence that New Mégane Renault Sport has been honed to offer an extreme ride.
Coming after Mégane F1 Team R26 and Mégane R26.R, New Mégane Renault Sport profits fully from Renault Sport Technologies’ extensive experience when it comes to manufacturing production sporting models.
250hp (184kW) at 5,500rpm and peak torque of 340Nm from 3,000rpm
New Mégane Renault Sport is powered by a new-generation 2-litre 16-valve turbocharged petrol engine which boasts maximum power of 250hp (184kW) at 5,500rpm and peak torque of 340Nm from 3,000rpm. The sum of the different improvements made to this engine has produced a gain of 20hp and 40Nm over Mégane R26.R which itself emerged as the yardstick in the world of performance hatches. The Renault Sport 2.0 T engine’s twin-scroll turbo is exceptionally responsive and is particularly flexible at lows revs, with 80 per cent of maximum torque available from 1,900rpm. Its broad useful rev band makes it a genuine joy to drive in everyday use, and the pleasure remains all the way up to the rev-limiter whenever it is pushed a little harder. The engine of New Mégane Renault Sport drives through a six-speed manual gearbox.
Work has also gone into the acoustics of the Renault Sport 2.0 T engine to produce a telltale sporty pitch audible inside the cabin under acceleration.
New Mégane Renault Sport has inherited the same suspension arrangement as the current Mégane Renault Sport. Thanks to an independent steering axis layout at the front, the suspension and steering functions have been separated to ensure a particularly high standard of handling and traction performance.
Like the sporting versions of the Renault Clio and Renault Twingo ranges, New Mégane R.S. is available with a choice of two chassis: the ’Sport’ chassis or the ’Cup’ chassis, which comes with a limited slip differential for even greater traction.
The electric power steering features specific, sportier calibration and benefits from the latest improvements seen on New Renault Mégane aimed at achieving greater precision and even more feedback from the road.
New Mégane Renault Sport is equipped with ESC which is fully disconnectable in order to enable owners to sample the pleasure of enjoying their car’s full potential round a circuit.
New Mégane R.S. benefits from undeniably sporty looks. The front bumper incorporates the LED daytime running lights, as well as the splitter which recalls the low-slung nose of the R28 Formula 1 car. The sporty calling of this Renault Sport-badged model is further emphasized by its 18-inch aluminium alloy rims, central exhaust tailpipe and rear diffuser.
The interior appointments, too, exude the world of motor sport, from the extra lateral support for the seats, to the analogue rev-counter with visual and audible gearshift indicator, the aluminium pedal cover and the specific steering wheel complete with thumb rests. The Renault Sport signature is also visible inside the car: on the headrests, rev-counter background and dashboard.
New Mégane Renault Sport profits fully from Renault Sport Technologies’ extensive experience when it comes to manufacturing production sporting models.
Renault Sport Technologies has combined its experience of motor sport with its longstanding production expertise to develop a comprehensive range of sporting cars. The hallmarks of Renault Sport models are their pedigree engines and efficient chassis which together deliver an undeniably high level of sports performance, as testified by the reputation forged by Mégane F1 Team R26 and Mégane R26.R which were voted ’Sporting Car of the Year’ in France in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
Renault has been a major player on the international motor sport scene for many years. The R8 Gordini, the Super 5 GT Turbo, Clio Williams and, more recently, Clio Renault Sport, Mégane F1 Team R26 and Mégane R26.R have all stood out as emblematic ambassadors for the brand on race tracks and rally stages around the world. The current range of production Renault Sport-badged models benefits extensively from Renault Sport Technologies’ long experience of competition and from the Renault group’s manufacturing expertise.
With more than 21,000 units sold in some 30 countries since its 2004 launch, Mégane Renault Sport has been a resounding success. In addition to topping its class in France, Mégane Renault Sport is one of the most competitive hot hatches around thanks to refinements that have been introduced over the years, including the availability of the even more efficient Cup chassis, as well as the release of the radically lightened R26.R version. Both Mégane F1 Team R26 and Mégane R26.R are acclaimed for their highperformance engines and chassis efficiency. They were each voted ’Sporting Car of the Year’ by readers of the French magazine Echappement in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Meanwhile, Mégane R26.R – which still holds the lap record for its class round Germany’s 21km Nürburgring Nordschliefe circuit – was named ’Car of the Year’ by the British mag Evo and stands out as the benchmark hot hatch of its class.
Renault Sport Technologies is a subsidiary of the Renault group. Its overall mission includes three principal areas of activity:
1/ the design, development, manufacture and sale of production sporting models (Twingo R.S., Clio R.S., Mégane R.S.),
2/ the build and sale of competition cars for rallying and circuit racing use (Renault Formula 2.0, Renault Formula 3.5, Clio Cup, Clio Renault Sport R3, Mégane Trophy),
3/ the organization of international single-make championships (World Series by Renault, Clio R3 Trophies) and Renault Sport Experience leisure activities (notably Enthusiast Days and driving tuition).
THE STUNNING LOOKS OF A THOROUGHBRED HOT HATCH
New Mégane R.S. features the same styling cues as New Mégane Coupé, but it also exudes a distinctly sporty feel thanks to several elements that take their inspiration from Formula 1. The dynamic, sweeping lines of the coupé version combine with a number of details which recall the world of motor sport to give it an even more assertive character, while pointing to the promise of exhilarating on-road performance:
- the wheelarches are wider to accommodate the impressive 18- or 19-inch wheels,
- the front bumper incorporates a wide air intake and a Formula 1-type aerodynamic blade,
- the central exhaust tailpipe, diffuser and rear lip spoiler reaffirm the car’s sporting credentials and contribute to its aerodynamic performance,
- the front bumper-mounted LED daytime running lights highlight the car’s piercing gaze.
New Mégane R.S.’s stance is uncompromisingly sporty – a sensation reinforced by its striking launch colour, Sport Yellow – while at the same time exuding a distinct impression of robustness and stability. Special attention has been paid to quality, too, as illustrated by the design and finish of the 19-inch Steev wheels which suggest a cocktail of refinement, advanced technology and speed. The exterior mirror housings, the aerodynamic blade incorporated in the front bumper and the rear diffuser are all picked out in gloss black, a further sign that New Mégane R.S. is not only sporty but also chic and elegant.
BEAUTY WITHIN, TOO!
The cabin carries over the chic, sporty styling of the exterior, and features a dark charcoal trim which contrasts with the Sport Yellow rev-counter background and steeringwheel stitching. The Yellow Ambience Pack brings further touches of colour in the form of the seatbelts and two-tone grey and yellow upholstery, as well as the door-panel and gear lever knob stitching.
The driving position is unmistakably sporty, but also perfectly comfortable. The front seat back and cushions feature additional lateral support, while the driver’s seat is fully adjustable (fore/aft adjustment = 240mm, height adjustment = 70mm), including adjustable lumbar support. The heated leather seats come with an electric settings-memory function. Those owners who enjoy putting their vehicle through its paces round a circuit will appreciate the optional cloth- or leather-upholstered Recaro seats which are also height- and fore/aft-adjustable.
The low seating position is comfortable, and the driver benefits from efficient support, whether driving on the open road or negotiating a racetrack.
The steeringwheel, too, is designed to be comfortable and sporty. It is trimmed in full-grain leather and is both height- and reach-adjustable to find the ideal driving position. Its shape and integrated thumb rests ensure perfect grip, while the yellow centre-point marking is a particularly useful feature when taking a sequence of tight corners or when driving on low-grip surfaces.
The competition feel of the driving experience is rounded off by the aluminium-faced pedals and footrest. Quality materials have been employed, while special care has been paid to assembly excellence and to the smaller details, with Renault Sport-badging visible on the grille, tailgate, sills, headrests, rev-counter background and dashboard trim.
COMFORT- AND PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING EQUIPMENT
New Mégane R.S. benefits from a raft of technological equipment, including:
- automatic dual-zone climate control with three modes (Soft/Auto/Fast),
- hands-free card with automatic door locking as the card-holder walks away from the vehicle,
- the 3D Sound by Arkamys audio system, with standard RCA connection or optional Plug & Music connectivity (USB, jack).
- a choice of two navigation systems: Carminat Bluetooth DVD® or Carminat TomTom®.
The analogue instruments of New Mégane R.S. are specific to the model and are another feature which provides a visible tie-in with the world of motor sport. In addition to the warning light which recommends the ideal moment to change gear, an audible warning also tells the driver when the rev-limiter is about to cut in. A new feature on New Mégane R.S. is the Renault Sport Dynamic Management system which allows the driver to choose the degree of electronic aid he or she wants in different situations:
- ’On’: the default mode when the engine is fired up. The ESP, ASR traction control and emergency brake assist are all activated. The system intervenes as soon as it senses that the car is on the verge of sliding. The pedal mapping ensures smooth acceleration, making this mode ideally suited to everyday use.
- ’Sport’ mode, for less intrusive ESP action. This mode is selected by a short press on the ESP button. Although the ESP and ASR are still active, they intervene at a later point and allow the car to slide to a certain extent, so long as the skid doesn’t exceed a given threshold. The pedal mapping is modified to permit swifter engine response.
- Off’ mode, for unfettered enjoyment, notably round a circuit. This mode is activated by a longer push on the ESP button. The electronic stability programme is fully disconnected, while the pedal mapping is modified to permit swifter engine response.
When the latter two modes are selected, the mentions ’ESP Sport’ or ’ESP Off’ are visible on the dashboard display.
Another unprecedented new feature for New Mégane R.S.’s class is the Renault Sport Monitor, an advanced tool which provides the driver with real-time data. The system takes its inspiration directly from technology employed in motor sport and, until now, seen only on a small number of prestige road cars. The R.S. Monitor is an electronic system which enables driving data to be collected via an array of sensors. Drivers can scroll through the system’s different functions using the steeringwheel remote controls, and the following information is shown of the main dashboard display:
- data concerning the main engine functions (turbo pressure, oil temperature) and brakes,
- real-time engine performance data (torque, power),
- transverse and longitudinal acceleration (’GG’ display),
- stopwatch, with memory function,
- performance data, with automatic memorisation of best 400-metre standing start and 0-100kph times.
The R.S. Monitor also enables the driver to modify the pedal mapping. A choice of five settings is available with the ’Sport’ mode selected (’linear’, ’normal’, ’snow’, ’sport’ and ’extreme’) in order to adapt the car’s acceleration characteristics to the conditions or to the driver’s wishes of the moment.
EFFICIENT PERFORMANCE AND DRIVING ENJOYMENT IN ALL SITUATIONS
New Mégane R.S. benefits from the extensive work that went into the chassis of Mégane R26.R, including independent steering axis front suspension coupled with a programmed-deflection rear torsion beam.
In response to customer demand, New Mégane R.S. is available with a choice of two chassis:
- the Sport chassis, which delivers the ideal balance between sports performance and everyday driving comfort,
- the Cup chassis which, combined a limited slip differential, delivers outstanding traction, particularly appealing to owners looking to enjoy themselves round a circuit.
Independent steering axis front suspension (R.S. Performance Hub) was first seen on a Renault production car in 2004, with the launch of Mégane Renault Sport. This arrangement ensures stable front suspension geometry under hard acceleration or when applying a significant amount of steering lock, cutting torque-steer.
Compared with the first-generation layout which it supersedes, New Mégane R.S.’s front suspension has benefited from significant work into reducing unsprung weight. The pivot, pivot carrier, and lower arm which links the wheel assembly to the engine subframe are made from aluminium, while ball joints are now employed between the pivot and pivot carrier to reduce the forces to which the steering axis is subjected.
For optimal directional precision, the front suspension is attached to a so-called ’horned’ subframe, a layout which ensures a level of transverse rigidity which is three times superior to that of Mégane II Renault Sport’s front suspension.
Meanwhile, the damper housing and shaft diameters have been uprated on New Mégane R.S. compared with Mégane coupé. This has doubled the stiffness of the strut and optimizes maintenance of the front wheels’ geometry under load.
The programmed-deflection rear torsion beam uses a new closed-profile beam which ensures the same level of stiffness for less weight.
The Sport chassis benefits from specific damper and spring ratings. The diameter of the front anti-roll bar is 23mm, while the stiffness of the axis is 19mm/100DaN at the front and 25mm/100DaN at the rear. Compared with New Mégane Coupé TCe 180, New Mégane R.S.’s anti-roll performance is improved by 12.5 per cent.
The Cup chassis with limited slip differential: uncompromising performance
The Cup chassis is aimed at enthusiasts who enjoy sporty driving and fans of track days, since its specific settings truly come into their own when the car is pushed that little bit harder. Compared with the Sport chassis, anti-roll stiffness has been increased by 13 per cent thanks to a bigger-diameter anti-roll bar (24.2 mm). The dampers are specific, too, while axis stiffness has been uprated by 35 and 38 per cent at the front and rear respectively compared with the Sport chassis. Anti-roll stiffness at the rear has been increased by 7 per cent compared with the Sport chassis.
The overall anti-roll stiffness of the Cup chassis marks an improvement of 15 per cent over the Sport chassis.
Equipped with a limited slip differential (LSD), Mégane R.S. Cup chassis delivers genuine competition-type performance. The LSD ensures optimum traction at all times; whatever the conditions, however much grip is available, whatever the diving style and whatever the type of corner. The combination of a limited slip differential and independent steering axis front suspension minimizes the effects of torque steer and permits the driver to profit fully from the extra traction for a more reassuring drive.
The limited slip differential also ensures greater stability under braking. By kicking in immediately, it pushes back the threshold when the ASR traction control intervenes under hard acceleration or when the ESP cuts in when turning into corners, thereby freeing the car’s full braking potential. Improved turn-in performance also means that the driver is able reaccelerate harder and sooner.
In short, in addition to improving the efficient transmission of power to the road, and thereby enhancing performance, the limited slip differential delivers progressive, reassuring handling which is appreciable whatever the driving style.
Lateral cornering stability has been improved to obtain a remarkable specific angle of roll, namely 0.31°/m/s 2 in the case of the Sport chassis and 0.28°/m/s 2 for the Cup chassis (compared with an average of 0.38°/m/s 2 for New Mégane Coupé, and 0.35°/m/s 2 for Mégane II F1Team R26).
It is easy to spot when New Mégane R.S. is equipped with the Cup chassis and limited slip differential thanks to its red brake callipers and grooved brake discs.
18- or 19-inch tyres
The following tyres are standard for New Mégane R.S.:
- Sport chassis: the new Dunlop SP Sport Max TT (225/40 R18 Y),
- Cup chassis: Michelin Pilot Sport 2 (235/40 R18 Y), also fitted to R26.R
A 19-inch option is available for both chassis, namely the new Continental Sport Contact 5 Performance (CSC5P) (235/35 R19 Y).
Exceptionally powerful brakes
High-performance cars call for high-performance braking systems that deliver both bite and resistance to fade. New Mégane R.S. benefits from exceptional stopping power thanks to its four-pot Brembo callipers and 340mm diameter vented discs at the front, the biggest available in the hot hatch segment. The front discs are grooved in the case of the Cup chassis equipped with a limited slip differential. Braking performance is further enhanced by an 11-inch servo.
At the rear, New Mégane R.S. is equipped with 290mm-diameter discs (again, grooved in the case of the Cup chassis).
New Mégane R.S.’s electric power steering features the same changes introduced on New Mégane, although its calibration has been adapted to suit the new model’s sportier calling. The system delivers more precise feedback, with a progressive increase in turning effort into corners and enhanced comfort through turns. Its steering ratio of 14.75:1 is closer than that of the former-generation version.
ENJOYABLE ENGINE PERFORMANCE
One of New Mégane R.S.’s major strengths is to be found underneath the bonnet in the form its newgeneration, Euro5-compliant 2.0 16V turbocharged engine (F4Rt). This powerplant delivers peak power of 250hp (184kW) at 5,500rpm and maximum torque of 340Nm at 3,000rpm, for a specific power output of 125hp/litre.
This increase in power and torque has notably been achieved thanks to:
- evolution changes to the turbo for even enhanced response at low revs,
- continuously variable intake valve timing,
- revised fuel-injection mapping.
With 80 per cent of peak torque available from as low as 1,900rpm, acceleration is smooth and responsive thanks to the twin scroll turbocharger and ontinuously variable intake valve timing.
To guarantee both performance and reliability, more than 25 per cent of the engine’s components are new compared with the 230hp version which powers Mégane F1 Team R26:
- new intake ports,
- reinforced reciprocal parts (pistons and conrods),
- new air/air and water/oil intercoolers,
- sodium-cooled valves,
- piston ring carriers.
New Mégane R.S.’s engine drives through a six-speed manual gearbox (PK4). Compared with the version of this gearbox mated to New Mégane’s TCe 180 engine, the ratios are taller with increased shift precision to give a sportier feeling. This new transmission enables the engine’s inherent performance to be exploited, with a 0-100kph time of 6.1 seconds and the 1,000-metre standing start covered in 25.7 seconds.
New Mégane R.S. returns excellent fuel economy for this level of power, with combined cycle fuel consumption of just 8.4 litres/100km, equivalent to CO2 emissions of 195g/km. New Mégane R.S. is also equipped with a system designed to optimize standing start performance. Known as Power Start, this system functions when the car is at a halt – with ESP selected – and allows the driver to profit fully from the engine’s acceleration performance without grip being lost. Work on the intake ports and exhaust has also bestowed New Mégane R.S. with a telltale sporty pitch under hard acceleration.
Reliability, durability and endurance
To ensure lasting performance, Renault Sport Technologies’ development team has put the New Mégane R.S. through its paces in a wide variety of situations, from long-distance circuit runs to extreme cold and heat, covering more than 300,000km in teasting.
Sporting performance in complete safety
Renault considers safety to be a priority and a domain in which the brand is known to excel. Renault uses the findings of LAB (Accident Analysis, Biomechanics and Human Behaviour Laboratory of PSA Peugeot- Citroën and Renault) to design vehicles which are both safe and adapted to real-world driving conditions. New Mégane R.S. naturally benefits from Renault’s expertise in this field.
A raft of equipment is included to help drivers anticipate or avoid risk:
- seatbelt warning lights for all five seats,
- tyre pressure monitoring system,
- bi-Xenon directional headlamps,
- automatic headlamp activation,
- automatic windscreen-wiper activation,
- cruise control with speed limiter,
- ESP with understeer control,
- emergency brake
New Mégane R.S.’s outstanding passive safety performance has been achieved thanks to the same systems which enabled New Mégane Hatchback to obtain the maximum five-star EuroNCAP crash test rating and the maximum possible score of 37 points from 37.
The programmed deformation of New Mégane R.S.’s structure has been engineered to absorb impact energy to protect the cabin and its occupants. The materials employed – including high, very high and very, very high elastic limit steels – have been selected to absorb and dissipate as much kinetic energy as
possible. Controlled deformation ensures that occupants are subjected to lower deceleration forces and this, coupled with the third-generation Renault System for Restraint and Protection (SRP3), guarantees an extremely high level of protection.