The next-generation, 2016 Renault Megane RS hot hatch will be a significant departure from the cult current version, with the three-door body to be relegated to the dustbin of history, and a manual gearbox no sure thing.
Speaking at the Frankfurt motor show this week, Renault executive vice-president Jerome Stoll confirmed the hottest Megane, to be revealed in 2016, would take a similar path to its Clio RS little brother, at least in terms of body-style.
Stoll was speaking at the reveal of the ‘regular’ new-generation Megane hatch range in Frankfurt, headed by the 152kW, dual-clutch-auto-only GT. The question of “what’s next” was obvious.
“There will be no Megane RS coupe with this generation,” Stoll said. This decision reflects general market trends, though RS purists will no doubt lament the end of the line for the eye-catching coupe body.
Specifics on the mechanicals will have to wait, but given Renault’s move to make the Clio RS (and almost certainly the new Alpine coupe) an EDC dual-clutch auto only, we had to ask if a six-speed manual gearbox would feature. Hardcore fans might want to be nervous.
Stoll, who is the global 2IC of Renault and reports only the CEO Carlos Ghosn, asked CarAdvice which gearbox we would prefer. Our response? “Manual, of course.”
“I don’t know yet,” Stoll said. “I take your point,” adding that the decision was not finalised.
“I like very much Australia for that reason because, frankly, Australia helps us very much to move in that direction.”
Australia is a minnow in the wider Renault world, with about 10,000 annual sales last year out of the company’s 2.8 million globally.
But it’s in the top handful of countries worldwide in RS sales, and for a time was second to France in Megane RS deliveries. On that car, Australia’s tastes matter, a lot.
So, if you want a manual, make your opinions known in the comments below. It’s something!