2008 Renaultsport dCi diesel hot-hatch

As the push towards more diesel powered cars on our roads continues Renault has confirmed it will become the second European manufacturer to launch a ‘hot hatch’ with diesel power.
2008 Renaultsport dCi diesel hot-hatch
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- David Twomey

Later this year the Mégane RenaultSport dCi will follow the Volkswagen Golf GT Sport 2.0 TDI in breaking open the sports hot-hatch market in Australia.

To create the new model Renault has fitted its existing top-end 2.0dCi diesel engine to the chassis originally developed for the Mégane Renault Sport 2.0 Turbo.

This powerplant develops 127kW at 3750rpm plus a generous 360Nm of torque at 2000rpm and, in terms of breadth, its operational power band is comparable with that of a turbocharged petrol engine.

2008 Renaultsport dCi diesel hot-hatch

It compares favourable with the VW Golf GT diesel which develops 2kW less and 10Nm less at slight lower rpm.

The Renault engine is packed with advanced technology, including a variable geometry turbocharger which provides a wide spread of torque throughout the rev range. Piezoelectric injectors are capable of operating up to five times per cycle, which helps reduce engine noise, fuel consumption and particulate emissions.

Coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox it produces a combined cycle fuel consumption of 6.5L/100km and CO2 emissions of just 172g/km.

Beneath the skin you’ll find the underpinnings of the petrol-powered Mégane Renault Sport 2.0 Turbo and our experience with this car means we wouldn’t disagree with Renault’s claims that the standard Renault Sport chassis blends dynamic handling with the kind of comfort everyday driving demands.

2008 Renaultsport dCi diesel hot-hatch

Independent steering-axis front suspension guarantees precise and efficient handling in all circumstances, while body movement is minimized by a 20mm-diameter anti-roll bar.

The front suspension has also been tuned to suit Mégane Renault Sport dCi’s characteristics and weight distribution. Spring stiffness and damper settings are consequently specific to this diesel version.

The rear suspension is based around a programmed-deflection flexible beam, the torsional stiffness of which is equivalent to that of the Cup chassis version of Mégane Renault Sport 2.0 T. The suspension components themselves are identical to those employed on the Sport chassis Mégane Renault Sport 2.0 T.

Powerful and fade-free, the Brembo braking system features four discs that are impressive in terms of both diameter (312mm and ventilated at the front, 300mm at the rear) and thickness (28mm at the front, 11mm at the rear). The front discs are also equipped with four-piston calipers.

The 18” alloy wheels run 225/40R18 tyres and the electronically variable power steering has been set up specifically to suit the car’s weight distribution.

The car will come with standard ESP and the Megane already has a EuroNCAP five-star safety rating.

Like the VW GT diesel the Renaultsport with a diesel engine will offer drivers a sporty driving experience coupled to frugal fuel efficiency.