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Renaultsport Megane R26-R

Details of new lightweight Megane leak out

Renaultsport will pull the wraps off the quickest version of the Mégane yet at this year’s British motor show in July, but we’ve already seen leaked details of the new R26-R – a lightweight, stripped-out, two-seater version of the familiar hot hatch – which internal sources have confirmed are accurate.

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The new model is based on the R26 Mégane and uses the same 2-litre turbocharged engine, delivering 227bhp and 229lb ft of torque to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox and a limited-slip differential. However, the R26-R also features a shorter-throw gearchange and revised suspension settings.

In addition to this, weight has been reduced by not only ditching the rear bench but also by fitting a carbonfibre bonnet, polycarbonate rear windows, a thinner exhaust system and, inside, one-piece carbon-shelled bucket seats. As a result the R26-R is 125kg lighter than the 1345kg R26, taking its power-to-weight ratio up from 171bhp/ton to 189.

This weight saving helps bring the R26-R’s 0-62mph time down to 6sec dead (from 6.5). That’s 0.1sec quicker than a 2.7-litre Porsche Cayman takes to hit the benchmark speed…

The image shown here appeared briefly on a website, but it was taken down almost immediately. Our contact told us the image was only created to give an idea of what the car may look like and shouldn’t be considered accurate. Body colours haven’t yet been confirmed, but it’s thought the R26-R’s 18in wheels will be available in either red or black, although the design could change.

Likely to be a limited-edition model, the R26-R is the hot hatch equivalent of the 911 GT3 RS and options will include a roll cage, titanium exhaust and race compound tyres. It should go on sale before the end of the year for around £24,000.

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