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by George Skentzos

Perhaps the most underrated hot-hatch – the Megane Renaultsport 225 three-door – has been given an overhaul to celebrate dual 2006 F1 World Championships and the result is the R26.

Available in either Deep Black or an exclusive Victory Yellow exterior colour, the R26 boasts a two-litre turbocharged engine, uprated by a further 3kW to 168kW and peak torque of 310Nm at 3,000rpm through a new sports-exhaust system which delivers a sporty rasp from the engine. Also included in the R26 is a Limited Slip Differential to keep the engine power channelled to the road.

With 90 per cent of peak torque available from 2,000 to 6,000rpm, this engine provides instant response and exhilarating acceleration.

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The R26’s features a unique set-up of the “Cup” chassis suspension system which is optional on the Mégane Renaultsport 225 five-door. The modified version has specific dampers and stiffer springs, while damper travel has been slightly increased by reducing the size of the bump stops to optimise handling on poor surfaces. The new diameter front anti-roll bar and rear suspension layout ensure stiffer anti-roll characteristics for enhanced handling under cornering.

To match the performance, the R26 is fitted with Brembo four-pot front callipers and vented 312mm diameter discs. and in place of the previous Dunlop SportMaxx tyres, Mégane F1 Team R26 is equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tyres (235/40 R18).

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Mégane F1 Team R26 is distinguishable from the 225 with its unique Renault F1 Team decals on the bumpers, doors and roof, and 18-inch alloy wheels as standard.

The R26 also comes with a matching level of equipment: de-connectable ESP, xenon headlamps, automatic headlamps and wipers, climate control, cruise control with speed limiter, and electric windows with driver’s one touch controls.

R26 RRP

Deep Black $43,990

Victory Yellow $44,990




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