The folks at Renault Sport have some work to do. They need to reclaim their crown as the king of front-wheel drive production vehicles around the famous Nurburgring Nordschleife – but with the Honda Civic Type R and Golf GTI Clubsport S around it isn’t going to be easy. They’ve been releasing snippets and teasers of a forthcoming Renault Megane RS for a while now, but at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show, the Frenchmen revealed all. This is the 2018 Renault Megane RS in all its glory.
Front-wheel drive remains the drivetrain of choice for Renault Sport, refusing to buckle to the pressure of all-wheel drive in search of extra grip and performance. However, whilst all-wheel drive may be off the cars, the 2018 Renault Megane RS does features 4CONTROL – 4-wheel steering inherited from the lesser Megane GT. At low speeds it decreases the turning radius, and at higher speeds it increases manoeuvrability and stability.
Much like Renault Sport has done before there will be two versions of the 2018 Renault Megane RS available – Sport and Cup models. Both models will be powered by a new 1.8-litre turbocharged 4 cylinder engine – the same unit found in the Alpine A110 – available in two states of tune. The Renault Megane RS Sport will feature the engine with outputs of 205kW @ 6000rpm and 390Nm from 2400-5000rpm. In RS Cup trim, the engine takes a bump to 221kW and 400Nm, and finds itself equipped with a Torsen limited slip differential to help put the power down.
Renault has, for a while now, refused to include the option of an automatic transmission in the Megane RS. But after including one as the only choice in the Clio RS, there were those that feared the 2018 Renault Megane RS would suffer the same automatic-only fate. For the new model, Renault Sport will offer a choice between a default 6-speed manual gearbox, or a 6-speed EDC dual-clutch transmission – the latter boasting rapid shifts and launch control functionality.
The 2018 Renault Megane RS wouldn’t be complete without an assortment of visual upgrades. A new front bumper incorporates the brand’s signature satin silver blade design, while the daytime running lights feature the chequered flag design. Wider air intakes are standard to let the new engine breathe, and an RS-specific grille completes the look.
Suitably flared (60mm front and 45mm rear) and ventilated wheel arches house the 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels. The wheels house new 355mm diameter brake discs with Brembo callipers, that can be optioned to bi-material cast iron and aluminium discs.
The rear of the 2018 Renault Megane RS sports a new lip spoiler and a new rear bumper that incorporates the signature Renault Sport central trapezoidal exhaust tip and an F1-inspired working diffuser for improved downforce and aerodynamic efficiency.
In addition to the new body trim, Volcanic Orange has been added to the Renault Sport family of paint options.
Inside, the 2018 Renault Megane RS benefits from several functional and visual upgrades as well. Sports front seats with integrated headrests will ensure support when cornering, while a charcoal grey interior with red top-stitching adds a sporting appearance. Two upholstery options are available, Alcantara or ‘carbon fibre weave’, and all models get bespoke aluminium pedals and gear shift levers.
The 2018 Renault Megane RS will also receive the latest RS Monitor system, utilising the R-Link 8.7-inch touch screen to display performance figures, analyse and track laptimes, and track G-forces.
Driver’s are also able to select different driving modes thanks to the 2018 Renault Megane RS’s Multi-Sense system – boasting 5 drive modes; Comfort, Normal, Sport, Race, and Perso. The RS Drive button also allows instant selection of Sport and Race modes via a long press.
Renault has also equipped the 2018 Renault Megane RS with a selection of advanced features and safety systems, including adaptive cruise control, active emergency braking, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and a blind spot monitor. A reverse camera is also standard, as well as hands free park assist.
The 2018 Renault Megane RS is expected to go on sale in European markets in early to mid 2018, with a South African launch date expected soon thereafter.