Renault is working on a high-performance version of the Megane Hatchback and you need to be excited about it

Renault has been pretty successful lately, with 2016 marking the debut of the fourth-generation Megane. The brand’s prized model is now available as a five-door hatch, four-door sedan, and as a wagon as well. Things are about to get a little juicier in the Megane stable, however, as the fourth-gen Megane R.S. has been putting in some work for a while now and is about production ready. We have reason to believe that Renault could be targeting the Focus RS and Civic Type-R with the fourth-gen R.S. The former would mean that Renault’s AWD system could make its way into the R.S., while the latter points to the R.S. having at least 300 horsepower. Put the two together, and you’ve got one amazing machine, to say the least. On the downer side of things, Renault has no plans to bring a Megane Coupe to fruition, so the R.S. will only be available as a five-door hatch.

As of now, the Megane R.S. looks to be about production ready, now sporting R.S.-style front and rear fascias, so a debut could be coming sooner than later. Will it be able to take on models like the Civic Type-R and the Ford Focus RS? Only time will tell, but let’s take a good look at all of the spy shots before Renault decides to lift the camo and shows us how big its johnson really is. Keep reading for all of the juicy details we have scrapped together thus far.

Update 6/20/2017: The upcoming Megane R.S. was caught stretching its wheels on the Nurburgring, and it’s been evolving since the last time we saw it. Check out the spy shots below to learn all about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the Renault Megane R.S.

One Million Fans and a Quick Tease


So, Renault Sport just hit one million followers on facebook, and it decided to celebrate with a rather cool video that starts off reminding us just how cool the 90s were with 32-bit graphics and old-school sports cars. As the video goes one, we see new iterations of various Renault vehicles in increasingly better graphics, with the last three cars in the video rolling off into the distance. A “One Milion Thanks” (yes it’s really spelled wrong) flashes on the screen, but things don’t stop there. As the Renault logo starts to fade off, the video transitions into a warehouse where the upcoming Megane RS is sitting under a sheet We can’t make out much, but we do get to see the LED running lights that encompass the headlights and that it will have a three-led fog light layout in each lower corner. It also fires up for a second to let us hear the engine note just before the video comes to a close. It sounds pretty good for what it is, and we can’t wait to see the sheet come off.

Spy Shots

June 20, 2017 – Putting in word on the Nurburgring

2018 Renault Megane R.S. Exterior Spyshots
- image 720908
2018 Renault Megane R.S. Exterior Spyshots
- image 720911

It’s been a few months since we’ve seen the Megane RS doing its pre-production thing, but this morning we woke up to a new round of spy shots. And, as luck would have it, it has evolved a bit in comparison to the last time we saw it. It’s still sporting the usual camo wrapping, but the front fascia is completely different and a little Mercedes-ish when you get right down to it. When the old mule had a large air dam and tiny corner vents, this mule has a much smaller air dam with a vent positioned between it and the main grille. Flanking the new air dam design is a pair of recessed areas that will likely be filled with vent-looking trim by the time it goes into production. These recesses are much larger than the vents on the last mule but don’t appear to be letting any air through, so they are likely for aesthetic purposes only.

The other big difference between this mule and the ones that came before it comes in the form of an according-to-Hoyle diffuser in the rear. The last mules we saw were just Megane GT models that were cobbled together. In the rear, there was a hole cut in the middle of the fascia insert for the central exhaust outlets, but this model, however, has its own fascia and a stylish diffuser that supports that central exhaust outlet. Even though it’s not a whole lot of change compared to the last prototypes, it certainly makes the tail end look much nicer and more appropriate for something that’s going to wear an R.S. badge. With that said, it looks like the Megane R.S. is about production ready, so a debut should be happening sometime in the near future.

February 21, 2017 - Renault Megane R.S. caught testing in Sweden

2018 Renault Megane R.S. Exterior Spyshots
- image 706205
2018 Renault Megane R.S. Exterior Spyshots
- image 706209
2018 Renault Megane R.S. Exterior Spyshots
- image 706202

Exterior

2018 Renault Megane R.S. Exterior Spyshots
- image 682731

These are the first images of the fourth-gen Megane R.S. that we’ve seen and, to be quite honest, there isn’t a lot to be excited about yet. This prototype is in the early stages of testing, or what I like to call, the Drivetrain phase. The prototype seen here is nothing more than a modified Megane GT, but we know it’s sporting some important changes under the skin, thanks to a few little details. For starters, there hood pins, which tells me there’s something different lurking beneath. Furthermore, the wheel arches have been hacked away to make room for the larger wheels. In the rear, you’ll also notice that there are center-mounted dual exhaust outlets. These, of course, sit between the capped-off holes in the rear fascia that accommodate the exhaust outlets on the GT. You can also spot big Brembo brake calipers hiding behind the larger wheels on this prototype – a hint that there is prototype is more powerful that the current model.

2018 Renault Megane R.S. Exterior Spyshots
- image 720977
2018 Renault Megane R.S. Exterior Spyshots
- image 720982
Expect to see the larger wheels and Brembo brake system to stick around, and something tells me the center exhaust layout is here to stay.

So what does all of this mean? Well, it’s enough to confirm that Renault is working on a range-topping version of the Megane hatchback. Outside of that, it doesn’t give us a whole lot to go on as far as what the end product will look like. Expect to see the larger wheels and Brembo brake system to stick around, and something tells me the center exhaust layout is here to stay. Up front, expect to see the grille and air dam morph a little to enhance airflow through the engine compartment and radiator core. The front fascia will also support much larger air intakes in the corners to further increase airflow.

The side profile of the car will likely remain the same, but expect to see sportier side skirts, privacy glass, and maybe even chrome trim around the windows on the door. It should also be noted that the RS variant will probably sit about a half inch lower to the ground for better aerodynamics, maneuverability, and a better stance. It will also sport fender flares to compensate for the wider wheels.

Around back, Renault will likely leave the rear fascia the way it is on this prototype, but that insert in the center will be replaced by a diffuser-looking element that supports the center exhaust layout. As such, the capped off hole on each side probably won’t exist on the production version. Outside of all this, there is the potential for a few exterior colors that are unique to the Megane R.S., and the wheel design will likely be changed up before we see an “official” version of the hatch.

Interior

2016 Renault Mégane GT High Resolution Interior
- image 646287

Interior from Megane GT shown here.

We can’t make out anything of the interior from the shots we have now, but there shouldn’t be too much change to the inside anyway. The interior will likely mimic that of the Megane GT. The seats will probably be real racing seats, but outside of that, there shouldn’t be much of a difference. I predict that we may see a flat-bottom steering wheel and some more intricate materials inside – like leather seating, for instance. But, the main layout of the car will remain. It will get the same tablet-looking infotainment system that dominates the center stake, and the digital instrument cluster that gives the Megane a more expensive feel. There will also be an “R.S.” badge wedged into that center spoke on the steering wheel. I expect to see some extra speakers or at least a better quality sound system.

Drivetrain

2018 Renault Megane R.S. Exterior Spyshots
- image 682727

At this time, the drivetrain department remains shielded by a cloud of mystery. We suspect that the next-gen Megan R.S. has the Focus RS in its sights, so 300 horsepower is the minimum we expect to see from this high-strung Megan. Whether or not the Megane R.S. will have all-wheel-drive remains to be seen, but if Renault really wants to take on Ford and its RS, then it will need all four wheels spinning to do it. At this point, I’ll refrain from discussing potential engine size, but expect to see the option of a six-speed manual for those who like to row their own gears and a dual-clutch automatic for those who like to hit the gas and go. I also expect to see an updated suspension and chassis system, but that’s just speculation. Surely, we’ll learn more about this before Renault officially pulls the sheet of the new R.S., so stay tuned for updates.

Prices

2018 Renault Megane R.S. Exterior Spyshots
- image 682732

At this time, it’s rather hard to talk about pricing, but I can speculate a little. We know that the range-topping Megane – the GT Nav trim level – starts out at £25,500 or about $33,866 at current currency exchange rates. With that said, the Focus RS – which we believe to be the target of the new Megane R.S. – starts out at £31,000 or about $41,171. Renault is a smart brand these days, so expect it to undershoot the competition and price the Megane R.S. out at £30,000 or about $39,843.

Competition

Ford Focus RS

2016 Ford Focus RS High Resolution Exterior
- image 664686
2016 Ford Focus RS High Resolution Exterior
- image 664685

With the Focus RS likely in Renault’s crosshairs, I couldn’t go without listing it as an official competitor. The car is technically still in its third generation, which started back in 2010, but it went through an extensive update for the 2016 model year. With that update came a redesigned front end, new exterior light units, and an overall sportier appearance inside and out. The biggest highlight, however, was the upgraded 2.3-liter EcoBoost that delivers an astonishing 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. It’s enough to get the RS up to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds on the way to a top speed of 165 mph. In the U.S., the Focus RS is priced from $35,900 and in the U.K. it is priced from £31,000.

Read our full review on the Ford Focus RS here.

Volkswagen Golf R

2016 Volswagen Golf R - Driven High Resolution Exterior
- image 692470
2016 Volswagen Golf R - Driven High Resolution Exterior
- image 692475

To make this a fair fight, I’m also going to throw some German competition into the mix. And, what better model to take on the Megane R.S. than the Volkswagen Golf R. It seems to take a couple of years for the Golf to make it to U.S. Shores, so while the seventh-gen Golf hit Euro dealers in 2013, we didn’t see it here in the U.S. until 2015. The current Golf R is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder than delivers 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. It can hit 60 mph in 5.3 seconds and has a top speed that is limited to 155 mph. The engine is backed by a six-speed manual transmission, and the update suspension system allows the Golf R to dominate in the corners and maneuverability department. At the time of this writing, the Golf R starts out at £31,685 (about $42,080) in the U.K. and more like $35,650 here in the U.S.

Read our full review on the Volkswagen Golf R here.

Conclusion

2018 Renault Megane R.S. Exterior Spyshots
- image 682737

It comes as no real surprise that I’m looking at these spy shots. Renault has been busy expanding its lineup, and now that we’ve seen the Megane Estate, Megane GT, and Megane Sedan, it’s only right that the brand brings a high-performance variant to the masses. I hope to see it debut with closer to 350 horsepower so it can rightfully take on the Focus RS, but even 325 horsepower would be enough if Renault plays its cards right. Furthermore, all-wheel drive would certainly make the R.S. worthy of praise and consideration by anyone looking to step into the hot hatch market. Renault knows the Hatchback market is full of tough competition, and it shouldn’t have an issue coming correct and providing a worthy competitor. With that said, take a look at the photos we have now, and stay tuned for future updates!

  • Leave it
    • * Won’t survive the market if not handled correctly
    • * Won’t hit dealers until 2018 model year

Update History

Update 3/30/2017: Renault Sport just hit one million Facebook followers, so it saw fit to release a special video to celebrate. At the end, however, there was a little surprise. Check out the special section in our review below to see what it’s all about.

Updated 02/21/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Renault Megane R.S. out for a new testing session during cold weather testing in Sweden. The car is expected to be unveiled in March at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show with deliveries to begin at the end of 2017.

Renault Sport is proud to be taking the wraps off New Renault Mégane R.S. at the 2017 Frankfurt International Motor Show. Since the launch of the original Mégane R.S. back in 2004, the model has carved out a strong reputation in the high-performance C-segment and become widely regarded as a benchmark in its class.

New Renault Mégane R.S. takes Renault Sport’s unmistakeable hallmarks of agility, efficiency and driving enjoyment a step further thanks to a more finely-tuned chassis performance permitted by 4CONTROL technology complete with four-wheel steering, a first in the segment. An all-new 280hp/390Nm engine has benefited from synergies within the Alliance, and, for the first time, New Renault Mégane R.S. is available with a choice of two transmission options.

Order books for New Renault Mégane R.S. will open in the UK in spring 2018.

“I was involved in New Renault Mégane R.S.’s development and I am proud to be its ambassador. Thanks to the new technologies it packs, including 4CONTROL technology, New Mégane R.S. is even more efficient and nimble than its predecessor. It’s a delight to drive.”

Nico Hülkenberg – Renault Sport Racing Formula 1 driver and Renault Sport Cars ambassador.

“Performance is the chief reason our customers cite for purchasing the Mégane R.S. and the All-New Mégane R.S. takes the styling and technologies even further to deliver truly exceptional driving enjoyment. Our intention is to see the All-New Mégane R.S., with its chassis and 4CONTROL, remain the C-segment hot hatch benchmark.”

Patrice Ratti – General Manager of Renault Sport Cars.

Performance-driven design

Wider tracks for outstanding driving dynamics
New Renault Mégane R.S.’s expressive, sporty lines point to the model’s performance pedigree and pay tribute to Renault’s longstanding involvement in topflight motorsport.

New Renault Mégane R.S. stands out through its specific proportions. In addition to the bespoke lines of its flanks, including wider wings which have been extended by 60mm and 45mm at the front and rear respectively compared with Mégane GT. Meanwhile, its overall width has been increased and new 18 and 19-inch wheels have been designed to provide a better stance and further enhance cornering performance.
Forceful styling features incorporating cues from the world of motorsport
The new front bumper incorporates:

A Formula 1-style blade which, in addition to being a Renault Sport styling hallmark and symbolic of Renault’s commitment to Formula 1, is picked out in a distinctive Gun Metal Grey satin finish that contrasts sharply with the bodywork’s high-gloss sheen.
A wide air intake to provide air for the intercoolers and engine cooling.
A specific front grille complete with a diamond grid pattern revisited by Renault Sport.

The design of the sides features:

A silhouette inspired by New Renault Mégane, with sculpted, sensuous lines accentuated by the R.S. version’s wider tracks and wings.
Extractor vents located behind the front wheels.
A specific sill design incorporating a black blade that runs along the bottom edge to visually connect the front and rear of the car and suggest a ‘flat floor’ effect, a common feature in motorsport.

Rear:

The new lip spoiler with body-colour vertical mountings designed to generate greater downforce underlines the width of New Renault Mégane.
The new rear bumper incorporates:
Mégane R.S. hallmark, centrally-positioned exhaust pipe with a prismatic finish.
A working diffuser inspired by the world of Formula 1 to negate lift at higher speeds.

A specific new body colour
A new body colour has joined the Mégane R.S. family – Volcanic Orange. Like Renault Sport’s iconic Liquid Yellow, the new finish benefits from special work to combine a unique sheen with a special effect as light reflects off the body. It also injects added dynamism and is perfectly coordinated with the car’s cabin where the following features contribute to New Renault Mégane R.S.’s distinctive interior ambience:

Sports front seats with integrated head rests.
A predominantly charcoal grey cockpit[1] with red top-stitching,
A choice of two upholsteries (‘carbon fibre weave’ or Alcantara®[2]),
Bespoke aluminium pedal and gear lever.

Renault Sport’s visual branding common to both its road cars and the world of racing
Renault Sport took advantage of the presentation of Renault’s latest Formula 1 car – the R.S.17 – in London, in February, to reveal its new logo which is shared by Renault Sport Racing and Renault Sport Cars. Now, for the very first time, this badging – emblematic of Renault’s sporting heritage – appears on the tailgate of one of the brand’s road-going models – New Renault Mégane R.S.

Unrivalled driving pleasure courtesy of Renault Sport’s expertise
4CONTROL chassis: an exclusive in New Renault Mégane’s class
Renault Sport’s acclaimed engineering expertise has taken the performance of New Renault Mégane R.S. to a new level thanks to two new features that are unique in the car’s segment.

Courtesy of Renault’s 4CONTROL system with four-wheel steering (a standard feature of both the model’s Cup and Sport chassis versions), New Renault MéganeS. is even more nimble through tight turns and more stable when cornering at higher speeds. The steering is more incisive while the turning circle is even tighter when manoeuvring. Carefully configured by Renault Sport, 4CONTROL generates a whole new level of driving enjoyment in the segment.
Front and rear hydraulic compression stops, a technology derived from the world of motorsport, provide additional damping and eliminate the effects of rebound by performing the following functions:
They ensure a high level of chassis efficiency on the Cup chassis version irrespective of the type of road.
Combined with the Sport chassis, they deliver unprecedented comfort in the segment.

New Renault Mégane R.S. carries over the key features that helped to forge the success of previous-generation versions.

The PerfoHub independent steering axis front suspension has been completely redesigned to cater for New Renault MéganeS.’s new geometry and is stiffer than before.
The new Torsen®limited slip differential that comes with the Cup chassis features different lock-up values under acceleration and deceleration for enhanced traction and higher cornering speeds.
The suspension settings of both versions are specific (springs, dampers, bump stops and anti-roll bar stiffness).

An all-new engine that benefits from synergies within the Alliance
New Renault Mégane R.S. is equipped with an all-new turbocharged engine equipped with direct fuel injection.

This 1.8-litre (1,798cc) four-cylinder unit generates 280hp (205kW) at 6,000rpm and 390Nm of torque, positioning it firmly amongst the class’s front-runners in terms of peak torque.
Maximum torque is available from 2,400rpm up to 5,000rpm.

To enable this engine to produce this level of power and torque under the bonnet of New Renault Mégane R.S., Renault Sport focused its development work primarily on the cylinder head, air intake and exhaust.

The cylinder head has been completely redesigned with combined input from the experts at Renault Sport Cars and Renault Sport Racing Formula 1 engineers.
The revised, higher-capacity dual-intake air filter features improved permeability.
The Twin Scroll turbo significantly enhances flexibility and response at low revs.

This engine emits 155g/km of CO2 (a considerable 11% reduction compared with the previous generation Mégane R.S.), while NEDC combined-cycle fuel consumption stands at 6.9 litres per 100km[3] (which equates to approximately 41mpg).

A choice of two types of transmission
For the first time, New Renault Mégane R.S. offers a choice of transmission for its new 280hp TCe engine.

Six-speed manual
Six-speed EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) automatic transmission.

The ratios and gearshift calibration were developed by Renault Sport to combine performance with efficient fuel consumption, while the EDC transmission’s gear shift times have been optimised for greater performance and driving enjoyment.

The EDC transmission stands out through a number of specific features:

Paddle-shifters – of a type similar to those used in motor racing – allow the driver to change gear without having to take their hands off the steering wheel when cornering.
Multi-Change Down technology ensures fast sequential down-changing and allows drivers to downshift several gears in quick succession under braking. This ensures the vehicle is in the most appropriate gear to tackle the following corner.
Launch Control for optimised getaways, directly inspired by motorsport technology. This is available in either Race mode or Sport mode, where it works in conjunction with the specially-adapted traction control to produce a textbook start even in low-grip situations.

A 300 horsepower / 400Nm Trophy version
Before the end of 2018, Renault Sport will introduce a Trophy version of New Renault Mégane R.S., the engine of which will produce 300hp and 400Nm of torque. It will incorporate a number of technologies geared to performance, including the Cup chassis and 19-inch wheels as standard equipment.

The performance of a car is also gauged by its braking ability. Renault Sport has introduced two new features to upgrade New Renault Mégane R.S.’s stopping power:

New 355mm front discs with Brembo callipers.
Optional bi-material cast iron and aluminium brake discs.

Upgraded R.S. Monitor
Thanks to its on-board telemetry system, R.S. Monitor, Renault Sport extends the R.S. experience beyond the act of simply driving. The latest version features new graphics and is even more user-friendly, with a choice of two configurations:

R.S. Monitor displays the driver’s performance in real time on the R-LINK 2 screen.
R.S. Monitor Expert provides drivers with the opportunity to connect a camera (either an independent camera or their smartphone camera) to film their drive. They can then play back and analyse their run thanks to the incorporation of performance data in the image. They can even share the film on social media.
There is a bespoke website for Renault Sport customers.
R.S. Replay allows owners to engage with other members of the Renault Sport community by uploading their recordings, playing them back and comparing runs.

Performance in all situations

R.S. Vision, Renault Sport’s lighting system
Already a feature of New Clio R.S., Renault’s multi-reflector R.S. Vision LED lighting system was a natural choice for New Renault Mégane R.S. Taking the form of a chequered flag – another nod to the world of motor racing – it is incorporated in the front bumper and frames the F1-style blade. This patented technology, which is exclusive to Renault Sport, delivers high-performance lighting and includes the fog lights, cornering lights and dipped and main beam head lights. R.S. Vision stands out as an unprecedented lighting package in New Renault Mégane R.S.’s segment to ensure a level of visibility worthy of the car’s high-performance pedigree.

Meanwhile, for the first time on Mégane R.S., Renault’s trademark C-Shaped lighting signature incorporates the vehicle’s direction indicators.

A personalised experience courtesy of MULTI-SENSE
Renault’s MULTI-SENSE system and its choice of five driving modes personalise the driving experience by adapting engine response (via the pedal mapping), the firmness of the steering and gear shift speeds[4].

Comfort mode: helps to minimise fuel consumption during everyday use.
Normal mode: the ideal compromise between comfort, acoustics and performance.
Sport mode: sportier performance, enhanced engine response, a more satisfying engine sound and firmer steering, while the ESC threshold has been raised.
Race Mode: designed for track use and unfettered performance thanks to sportier 4CONTROL settings for enhanced agility, with the ESC turned off.
Perso mode: New Renault MéganeS.’s technologies can be activated or switched off at will to enjoy a truly personalised drive.

The R.S. Drive button provides shortcut access to the Sport and Race modes thanks to a short or long press respectively.

Driver aids designed for everyday use
Now a five-door hatchback, New Renault Mégane R.S. is even more suited to everyday use, while losing nothing of its dynamic, sporty character.

A suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) allows it to be driven in all types of situation.

Its palette of driving aids – all accessed and activated or deactivated via the R-LINK 2 tablet – provide the following functions:

Reassure: Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Active Emergency Braking System (AEBS),
Alert: Lane Departure Warning (LDW); Safe Distance Warning (SDW); Traffic Sign Recognition with Over Speed Prevention (TSR with OSP) and Blind Spot Warning (BSW),
Assist:Reversing camera; front, rear and side parking sensors; and Easy Park Assist (hands-free parking).

New Renault Mégane R.S. comes with Renault’s high-end R-LINK 2 multimedia system complete with a large 8.7-inch (22cm)TFT display.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Car Finder: