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by George Skentzos

Renault has unveiled its hotly anticipated Mégane Renaultsport 250 hatch at the Geneva Motor Show.

Building on the pedigree of the Mégane F1 Team R26 and Mégane R26.R, the new generation Renaultsport has been honed to offer uncompromising hot-hatch performance.

Under the bonnet lies a new 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine which boasts maximum power of 184kW – or 250hp, as it namesake suggests – and peak torque of 340Nm from 3000rpm.

2009 Renault Mégane RS 250 at Geneva

Utilising a twin-scroll turbocharger, the new engine is exceptionally responsive – particularly at low revs – with 80 per cent of maximum torque available from just 1900rpm.

Power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission, also inheriting the same proven suspension arrangement as the current model.

The new Mégane RS is available with a choice of two chassis: the ‘Sport’ chassis or the ‘Cup’ chassis – with the latter offering a limited slip differential for even greater traction.

2009 Renault Mégane RS 250 at Geneva

The electric power steering offers a specific performance calibration for maximum precision, while an ESC system has been similarly calibrated while retaining the ability to deactivate the system entirely.

Its appearance is unmistakably Renaultsport, with a new front bumper incorporating LED daytime running lights, a low-slung front splitter resembling the brand’s F1 car, 18-inch aluminium alloy rims, and central exhaust tailpipe and rear diffuser.

The interior has also been inspired by the world of motorsport with extra lateral support for the front seats, an analogue rev-counter with visual and audible gearshift indicator, aluminium pedals and a sports steering wheel complete with thumb rests.