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Renault Australia admits a small core of buyers have expressed concern the company will change the formula for the 2018 Megane RS, but says the majority of feedback has centred around making the hardcore offering more accessible to a wide audience.

The next-generation Megane RS will emerge in 2017/18 and, unlike the current three-door coupe, will be a five-door hatchback only. As reported here, it’ll also have Focus RS-rivalling power output, and may sport all-wheel drive and/or four-wheel steering.

There has also been scuttlebutt over what transmission/s it’ll use. Just like the Clio RS, a dual-clutch automatic gearbox with paddles will be added to broaden the buyer base beyond self-shifting purists. The future of the manual is less clear, though the latest information out of France suggests that unlike the Clio, it’ll be an option.

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Pictured: 2016 Renault Megane GT, the car on which the next Megane RS will be based.

Regardless, this new Megane RS will represent a big departure from the current car, a manual-only coupe low on frills but high on dynamism. We asked Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar if current-generation Megane RS fans had expressed concern over this broader direction.

Keep in mind that Australia was the world’s second-biggest market for Megane RS last year, behind only France, and ahead of the UK and Japan. In other words, we’re a vital market for Renault’s performance leader (until Alpine arrives).

“I would say, there is a bit of that,” Hocevar conceded, but added “the volume of feedback, though, is when are we going to get a paddle-shift car?”.

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Pictured: Current-generation Megane RS. 

“I think in an ideal world we would be able to cater for both [manual and auto buyers],” he said, though added that the Clio RS could shape decisions around Megane RS.

Tell us your thoughts in the comments on the idea of a dual-clutch automatic, five-door Megane RS. Would you still go the manual if given the choice? 

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