What is it?
The facelifted Renaultsport Megane gets the power and torque of the limited edition Trophy, raising it to 261bhp and 265lb ft. However you can only access this extra power if you put the car in Sport mode, which also relaxes the ESP a notch.
As before, buyers can specify one of two different chassis – Sport or Cup. The Cup chassis has stiffer springs and dampers, 18-inch alloys with stickier tyres and also gets a mechanical limited-slip diff. Otherwise chassis settings are unchanged.
More options are available, including Renault’s ‘Visio’ system which combines lane departure warnings and automatic high-beam switching.
What’s it like to drive?
There can be few cars that are so fast and so fun no matter what sort of road you find yourself tackling. On the standard chassis you don’t get quite the planted crispness to the handling in the corners, and of course there isn’t the mechanical limited-slip diff to rip you out of the turns but it is still a mightily enjoyable car. There is stacks of adjustability, with the tail more than happy to get mobile if you brake deep into an apex or lift off sharply. Impressively, the electrically assisted steering is full of feel and precision – so much so that you would assume it was a good old hydraulic system.
Braking has long been another Renaultsport strong point, and the latest RS Megane is no exception. With huge 340mm Brembo rotors at the front you can lean on the Megane’s middle pedal with complete commitment and yet enjoy great feel under the ball of your foot whilst your rib cage is hanging in the seatbelt. Unsurprisingly, we heartily recommend ticking the option box for the Cup chassis, as it adds another level of dynamic shine to everything, particularly in the way the diff generates such incredible traction.
How does it compare?
Prices start at £24,825 for the basic Renaultsport Megane 265 Cup edition (which is lighter on luxury, but gets the Cup chassis as standard), then rise to £26,025 for the standard 265 (which is more luxurious) to which you can add the cup chassis for an extra £1350. Confused? All you need to know is that even in luxo-cup spec it’s still cheaper than a less powerful Golf GTI Edition 35 (although admittedly the interior still can’t quite match the feel good ambience of the VW).
Anything else I should know?
For just £350 you can spec the optional Renaultsport Monitor. This allows you to view real-time data on things such as power and G-force, while also memorising your best 0-62mph time. Perhaps even more interestingly, it lets you choose from five different throttle maps (linear, normal, snow, sport and extreme).
The Renaultsport Megane is now covered by Renault’s ‘4 plus’ package, which combines a four year/ 100,000 mile warranty with four years/ 48,000 miles of routine servicing.