The Renault Megane GT 220 Estate will make a surprise arrival in Australia in late May priced from $36,990 plus on-road costs.
Although Renault last year announced the Megane Estate would join the range in 2013, the ‘RS lite’ version of the wagon was not expected to arrive first – or so soon.
Tagged as a limited edition model, the Megane GT 220 Estate uses the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual drivetrain as its Megane RS265 coupe sibling.
Producing 162kW of power from 4750-6500rpm, and 340Nm from 2400-3500rpm, the Megane GT 220 Estate is – compared with the Megane RS265 – detuned by 33kW and 20Nm. The engine does, however, gain stop-start technology, helping to reduce claimed combined fuel consumption from 11.3L/100km to 7.3L/100km.
The Estate body is 4567mm long (268mm longer than Megane RS) and rides on a 2703mm wheelbase that extends 67mm further than the coupe. It is narrower, however, measuring 1804mm wide (less 44mm) with a corresponding reduction in front and rear track width. The tall wagon roofline means an extra 59mm of height, now 1494mm.
Compared with its closest rival, the Skoda Octavia RS wagon, the Renault Megane GT 220 Estate makes more power and torque, is lighter (at 1464kg), is slightly wider and rides on a longer wheelbase but is shorter overall. Its 486-litre seats-up luggage space can’t quite match the Skoda’s 580L unless the rear seats are folded where the Renault is only 20L off, at 1600L.
The Renault Megane GT 220 Estate includes a Renaultsport-tuned GT chassis that the manufacturer says is one of five chassis tunes offered in Meganes worldwide – standard and GT Line are non RS-tuned, with GT, RS Sport and RS Cup ascending in their sporting bias. While the GT 220 isn’t technially an RS model, it still wears Renaultsport badges.
Despite using the same engine and gearbox as the Megane RS265, the Megane GT 220 Estate does not get that model’s standard limited slip differential or Perfohub steering design that separates the hub from the strut to reduce torque steer, however Renault claims the steering has still been tuned by Renaultsport.
The GT 220 gets an RS Monitor in base from, but it lacks the adjustments to throttle and ESC intervention that can be made in the RS265.
Two versions of the Megane GT 220 Estate will be offered. The standard $36,990 model includes 18-inch gloss-black alloy wheels (using the same tyres as Megane RS), foglights, cruise control, daytime running lights, dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, auto wipers and headlights and roof bars.
Buyers can option a Premium Pack for $5000 which adds a panoramic sunroof, satellite navigation (RS Monitor deleted), front parking sensors, reversing camera, bi-xenon headlights, two-tone leather seats and a lane departure warning system.
Athough small wagons have not traditionally sold well in our market, Renault has a clear buyer target in mind.
While Australia is the second largest market for the Megane RS265 in the world – behind France and in front of Japan – Renault says in many cases the better halves of prospective buyers have ruled out the purchase of a Megane RS265 due to its three-door design, and there’s now plenty of practicality compensation offered by the RS-related Megane GT 220 Estate.