Renault’s potent RS is a very alluring hot hatch writes Suzanne Keane
What is it? The Megane RS is the latest hot hatch to be unleashed by Renault
Styling? With its Tangerine Orange paintwork, wider wings for extra air intake, F1 splitter and flared sills, the new Renault Megane RS certainly hasn’t been designed to blend into the crowd
Under the Bonnet? The Megane RS is powered by a growling 1.8-litre petrol engine with 280bhp and 390nm of torque which manages 0-100kph in just 5.8 seconds reaching a top speed of 255kph.
What about inside? Inside the cabin it does feel familiar and is as spacious and comfortable as the standard Megane. Wrapped in the sumptuous Alcantara sports seats the only clue as to what’s hiding under the bonnet is the red centre stripe on the steering wheel and the rumble of the engine. Inside the cabin, there’s plenty of space for four adults or two adults with two ISOfix child seats, and existing Renault drivers will be accustomed to the R-Link touchscreen infotainment
On the Road? A quick tap of a button allows you to switch driving modes and enter Sport or Race modes instantaneously while the R.S. Monitor screen allows you to keep an eye on your performance and record trips to share on social media later. Despite having a wider track and being lower than a standard Megane comfort hasn’t really suffered. The hard suspension didn’t feel too severe around Cork and Co. Kerry while overall handling was excellent, and it did feel really stable on wet roads. However, the 4-wheel “4 Control” steering does take some getting used to and it can be especially disconcerting when looking in the wing mirror at lower speeds!
What is “Sport” and “Cup”? The RS is available in both “Sport” and “Cup” guise, the latter chassis equipped with an even firmer suspension and a mechanical limited-slip differential focusing on-track performance. Reassuringly it is well able to stop when necessary too and a Brembo brake setup is available on the Cup model.
And Safety? As you would expect from Renault, the RS has a host of safety features including the adaptive cruise control, active emergency braking system, safe distance warning and hands-free parking.
Will it break the bank? Prices start from €45,245 for a Renault Megane RS with a manual gearbox but the model tested was a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic, costing €48,225 with options such as Orange Tonic metallic paint, a Bose sound system, an Alcantara leather interior with red stitching and 19” alloy wheels.
What it says about you? let’s go have some fun.. in Mondello
Verdict? The Renault Megane RS has proven its worth as a hot hatch and with interior space to match the standard model it might just be the perfect compromise between a family car and track-day demon.
Why you’ll buy one? Styling, handling, performance
Why you won’t? firm suspension maybe a little too firm for some, pricey
Renault Mégane R.S. 280
Engine: 1798cc, 280 bhp, 390 Nm
Max speed: 250 kph
0-100 kph: 5.8 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 187g/km (€750)
Price: Test car €48,225
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP: 5 stars
Fuel type: Petrol
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 8.3 litres per 100km
Boot Capacity Seats up(down): 384 (1247) litres
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
Length: 4372 mm
11th December 2019