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The 5 Things You Need to Know About the 2019 Renault Megane R.S.

The all-new 2019 Renault Megane R.S. will arrive here in September and is available to order now. These are the 5 things you need to know about it.

TIPPED TO become the best-selling Megane R.S. ever, the all-new, third-generation Megane R.S. arrives Down Under in September ahead of customer deliveries in November. It’ll be priced from $44,990+ORC and is far and away the most practical Megane R.S. ever.

For a start, it gets an extra set of doors as well as the cost-option of a dual-clutch transmission, and then there’s the four-wheel steering system that Renault argues makes this the best hot hatch to drive.

More Power

When it arrives in September, the Megane R.S.’ 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder will become the country’s most powerful 1.8L four-pot petrol. In a production car, anyway. The thing makes 205kW and 390Nm of torque from 4200-4800rpm.

This screamer will be mated to either a six-speed manual or a cost-optional six-speed EDC automatic (Renault-speak for dual-clutch). This transmission is in use on other Renault models but has been beefed up to handle the power and torque of the Megane R.S. it also, obviously, runs different gear ratios and features Multi-Sense which offers several driving modes. These are:

  • Comfort: specific engine response settings and gearbox shift patterns that reduce fuel consumption;
  • Normal: a good balance between comfort, acoustics and safety;
  • Sport: this mode combines more lively response with pleasingly accentuated engine noise, stiffer steering and a delayed ESP activation threshold;
  • Race: for racetrack driving, the ESP is completely disabled and the settings of the 4CONTROL system are tweaked for more agile handling;
  • Perso: this mode allows each driver to customise the settings of the various technologies and driver aids (ADAS) on the vehicle – every part of the car can be set up individually according to the driver’s situation.

Beyond this, the dual-clutch transmission can skip-shift on its way down the gears and offers launch control, because, well, just because.

All-wheel steering and two chassis set-ups

The Renault Megane R.S. is all on its own when it comes to four-wheel steering in the segment, but there’s been precedent in the hot-shoe segment…anyone remember the Mitsubishi Galant VR4?

Other models run Renault 4Control system but the Renault Sport engineers needed to tweak the system to work on the Megane R.S. At speeds over 60km/h (or 100km/h in Race mode), the front and rear wheels turn in the same direction for increased stability. At speeds of less than 60km/h (or at 100km/h in Race mode), the front and rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to give increased agility, particularly through tight corners.

Depending on which transmission you plump for, you’ll be able to choose from either the Sport or Cup chassis. The former is designed for those who want a “sporty, but still refined, drive,” to quote Renault. The Cup chassis, only available with the manual transmission, gets revised springs, dampers and bump stops – it is 10% stiffer than the Sport chassis. Also, its new Torsen mechanical limited slip differential provides different lock-up values under acceleration and deceleration for enhanced traction and higher cornering speeds.

What about the brakes?

The all-new Renault Megane R.S. sitcks with the previous generation’s Brembo brakes set-up but they’re bigger now. The diameter of the front brake discs has been increased to 355mm (+15mm compared with the previous generation). The engineers have also tuned the brake pedal for feel and progression.

Plump for the Cup Chassis Pack and the brakes are Brembo’s bi-material brakes. These bi-material aluminium/cast iron discs help reduce the weight per wheel by 1.8kg while being quicker to cool, according to Renault.

What about the bumps?

Beyond its four-wheel steering, and another first in this segment, the Megane R.S. gets hydraulic bump stops right around as standard. Renault said the set-up integrates a shock absorber within the shock absorber, “as the end of travel approaches, a secondary piston dampens the movement of the wheel before the bump stop”. The aim is to reduce any rebound with the French car makers claiming it feels like the car has eight dampers.

Key Features?

On the outside, the Megane R.S. gets a custom front bumper with gun-metal grey F1-style blade and honeycomb front grille, and a rear bumper with “functioning’ diffuser and centrally-mounted exhaust. Vision full LED lighting system in the style of a chequered flag provides a unique-in-segment technology in a distinctive design.

All-new Megane R.S. also receives Chrome “Interlagos” 19-inch alloy wheels as standard and is the first vehicle to receive the new R.S. logo.

Inside, the driver and passengers will instantly recognise they are in a Renault Sport vehicle thanks to the chrome-plated R.S. door sills, custom R.S. roof lining and sports seats with dark carbon R.S. upholstery. The driver also receives a little extra luxury with a Nappa perforated leather steering wheel and gear gaiter.

In terms of safety, there are front, rear and side parking sensors, rear parking camera, MULTI-SENSE driving modes, 8.7-inch portrait touchscreen with satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, handsfree keycard with automatic locking and welcome function, Easy Park Assist handsfree parking, heated folding electric door mirrors, Hill Start Assist, ESC, ABS, Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), distance warning and automatic emergency braking (AEBS) make the all-new Megane R.S. easy to live with on an everyday basis. An opening sunroof, Alcantara upholstery and 8-speaker BOSE sound system are available as cost-optional extras.


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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober