Renault Mégane RS Ultime marks the end of Renault Sport
The ultimate Renault Sport Mégane RS is here. Unless you live in the UK that is
Renault Sport has revealed the last variant of its Mégane RS hot hatch – the Ultime – built to sign-off the Renault Sport brand after nearly 50 years of creating some of the best hot hatchbacks to cock an inside rear-wheel. Unfortunately one of Renault Sport’s most loyal markets, the UK, won’t be able to experience this final Mégane fling, with all 1976 examples destined for mainland Europe and Asia. That’s gratitude for you.
Featuring a specification that sits between the Trophy and limited-run Trophy-R, the Mégane RS Ultime sits on the stiffer Cup chassis, which includes 10 per cent stiffer anti-roll bars. A Torsen limited-slip differential is also included with the Mégane RS’s unique hydraulic bump stops also fitted, so too the less than convincing 4Control rear-wheel steering system.
Renault Sport has also added the four-piston Brembo brakes from the Trophy-R and a set of lightweight (they’re 2kg lighter than the standard Trophy wheels) 19-inch Fuji wheels, fitted with Bridgestone’s latest Potenza S007 semi-slick track day tyre..
Powering the Ultime is the familiar turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder as found in both the standard RS Mégane and Alpine A110. Producing 296bhp and 309lb ft of torque its outputs match the dual-clutch EDC transmission Trophy model, with torque trimmed to 295lb ft if Asian market customers opt for the six-speed manual (European cars will only be available with the EDC).
Visually the Mégane RS Ultime is defined by those Fuji wheels and unique decals on the nose, sides and rear. It also features some unique styling accents, with the front wing finishers, mirror caps, door handles and front bumper insert all finished in gloss black. This sits atop the RS’s unique body, which is wider than standard non-Renault Sport Méganes, and features functional aero devices around the rear bumper and underbody that eliminate lift.
Recaro bucket seats, positioned 20mm lower than the RS’s standard seats, are standard as is a black Alcantara trimmed steering wheel. There’s also a standard-fit Bose sound system and 360-degree camera system. Left hand drive models will be available with an optional head-up display and panoramic sunroof.
As Renault Sport dies Alpine will plug the gap with a range of electric hatchbacks, including the new R5, which are going to have to go a long way to capture the imagination and enthusiasm of the Renault Sport greats that have gone before. RIP Renault Sport, you’ll be missed more than you’ll ever know.