An acceleration test shows just how limited that 1.8-liter really is

We’ve praised the new Megane RS up and down. It’s attractive, it’s sporty, it’s got the proper interior appointments, and it stands out in a crowd where models like the Ford Focus RS and Honda Civic Type R thrive. With that said, its spec sheet doesn’t disappoint either. 276 horsepower and 288 pound-feet of torque isn’t exactly something to sneeze at, at least not coming from a car this size anyway. But, engine size matters; transmission gearing matters. And, that’s painfully evident in this acceleration and top speed test put together by AutoTopNL.

From the start, things look good; the RS manages to hit the 62.1-mph barrier in around 5.8 seconds. That’s just 0.9 seconds slower than the Civic Type R and 1.1 seconds faster than the Ford Focus RS, both of which are more powerful. What happened after that run to 60 is what’s a bit discerning. It was able to run to 140 from nil in around 27 seconds, which again isn’t bad for a car with this kind of power, but beyond that, this thing is the definition of a turd. So much so that in the first attempt the driver couldn’t even hit the RS’ top speed of 155 mph. He got close, at 152, but never made it to the top of the hill.

The driver did manage to hit a top speed of 155 mph, but it wasn’t until he slowed down to 140 mph, then jumped on it again, spending 46 seconds in the process – again, that’s a turdishly slow as it gets. It’s like the car just loses all motivation beyond 135 mph or 140 mph. So what’s the reasoning behind this? Well, first off, that little 1.8 liter starts to fall off in a major way beyond 5,000 rpm. Second, it’s pretty clear that the transmission is geared more for top speed than acceleration from third on up. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a tactic to provide a high top speed on paper without having to mention that it has a significant effect on mid-to-high-range acceleration.

Either way, this video is very telling of what you can really expect from the new Megane RS. It’s not a bad vehicle by any means, but it’s probably not going to win any acceleration contests – not now, and not ever. Well, unless you do some serious modification. And, in that case, by all means, please send us some video.

2018 Renault Megane R.S. Performance Specifications

Type of engine (injection/turbo) 4-cylinder turbo direct injection
Capacity (cm3) 1798
Bore x stroke (mm) 79.7 x 90.1
Number of cylinders/valves 16
Max. power 280 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Max. torque 287 LB-FT @ 2,400 RPM
Transmission Dual-clutch EDC automatic gearbox
0-100 km/h (s) 5.9
Top Speed 255 km/h (158.5 mph)
Drag area CdA (m2) 0.78
400m stopping distance (s) 14.1
1,000m stopping distance (s) 25.4

Further Reading

2018 Renault Megane R.S.
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Read our full review on the 2018 Renault Megane RS.

2016 Renault Mégane GT High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Renault Megane GT.

2017 Renault Megane Sedan
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Read our full review on the 2017 Renault Megane Sedan.

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Read more Renault news.

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