The 2016 Renault Megane hatch will make its world premiere at the Frankfurt motor show in September, the company has confirmed.
The new-from-the-ground-up small hatch will, in the words of Renault design chief Laurens van den Acker, be “very sexy” and “very sensual”, and as such should make a tres chic counterpoint to the Volkswagen Golf.
In fact, the Megane — which dates to 2008 in its current generation — will be among the last members of Renault’s range to adopt van den Acker’s family styling, alongside the forthcoming new Koleos.
Pictured: Renault Captur.
The Renault design chief opened up about the new C-segment car to IndianAutosBlog this week at the global launch of the Kwid SUV in the subcontinent.
Things will be very different under the skin as well, with the Megane to use the Renault-Nissan CMF-1 architecture that underpins the European Nissan Pulsar, plus the Qashqai, X-Trail and Kadjar. This should mean a reduction in weight and — thanks to production scale — potentially manufacturing cost.
Expect engine commonality with the likes of the Kadjar too, with likely powertrains to include a 96kW/205Nm 1.2-litre turbo-petrol and a 96kW/320Nm 1.6-litre turbo-diesel.
Inside, you’ll see a similar layout to other Renault family models (like the Kadjar's cabin pictured below), with a large, circa-9.0-inch tablet display with R-Link 2 touchscreen hosting most functions and higher-quality materials to match the Golf and Peugeot 308, both of which sit appreciably upmarket of the current Megane.
Pictured: Renault Kadjar cabin.
What is less clear is the future of the two-door version, which is the basis for the popular Megane RS275 hot hatch range. What powertrain it will use and whether it will retain a manual gearbox, unlike the dual-clutch-auto-only Clio RS, remain unknown at this point.
Also not yet known is Australian launch timing. Given it will go on sale in Europe at the end of 2015 or in very early 2016, one would think the second half of 2016 would seem likely. But as we’ve seen with the Captur, which took almost two years to arrive here after its Euro debut, it could be longer.
Renault will no doubt be hoping to carve a greater chunk out of Australia’s small-car segment for itself with the new car. This year it has managed 416 registrations, enough for 0.6 per cent market share. The Peugeot 308 sits on 581.