Speaking to the Australian motoring media at the launch of the new Renault Megane in Portugal this week, Renault Sport’s vice president of sales, marketing and communication, Regis Fricotte, confirmed the existing 2.0-litre turbocharged engine will meet its end once the current Megane RS goes out of production.
“That [current Megane RS] engine was good in terms of what it can do in an RS, but it’s an engine that is not suitable for further development in terms of consumption and CO2 [emissions].”
His comments suggest the new car could potentially use the same 1.6-litre turbocharged unit found in the Clio RS - a downsizing in engine capacity similar to the new Peugeot 308 GTI, which manages to get 200kW out of a 1.6-litre engine.
"Power is [only] part of the equation. With all the previous Megane RS [models], we have shown that power does not make the best car. Your engine output is part of the equation, but not everything.”
Speaking of the new Megane RS, expected in 2017, Fricotte said “[we] will have an engine that will develop the performance we want, [but] we have never had a car with the biggest engine”.
He insisted that the engine size and to an extent outright horsepower in this class is largely irrelevant.
"So what [if we don’t have the largest engine]? We still have the record on the Nurburgring (7:54.36 for a front-wheel drive car)… we will try and improve it.”
The new Renault Megane RS will be available as a five-door only, with the new Megane range confirmed to be available in that body style, as well as wagon, only.
It’s also very likely the new hot-hatch will sport a dual-clutch transmission over the current car’s six-speed manual.
Fricotte refused to outright confirm a move away from the traditional gearbox, but he hinted strongly to CarAdvice that the success of Clio RS with a dual-clutch transmission was a case study of why dual-clutch transmissions were the better option commercially.
“We sell Megane RS pretty well, even though it’s a manual and the Australian market is more automatic, but for me it’s not a limitation - so if you’ve got the other element in the equation, it still works.
"Obviously if you have an EDC (efficient dual-clutch transmission) or an automatic equivalent transmission it’s better, it attracts more customers. To have an EDC transmission it gives you more advantage and more volume.”
Prior to the introduction of the current automatic-only Clio RS, Renault Australia was only selling around 50-60 units per year of the previous generation manual-only model. For the period of Jan-Nov of this year, Clio RS sales are sitting at 689 units.
We are likely to see the first hint of the next-generation Renault Megane RS at next year’s Paris motor show.