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by Matt Campbell

The 2018 Renault Megane RS – or RenaultSport Megane, depending on which market you’re in – has been caught completely uncovered ahead of its international debut.

Images of the new-generation Renault Megane RS have been leaked online, appearing on French auto site Virtuel Car‘s Facebook page overnight. It’s the second-such leak of the new halo hatch, and the company’s patent filings also gave us an indication of what to expect earlier this year, too. But this is it, with multiple viewing angles and plenty of colour. Looks sharp, right?

The all-new French hot-hatch has been a long time coming, with the new more practical model clearly aimed at broadening its customer appeal – already Renault has confirmed this version will be offered with both manual and (dual-clutch) automatic gearboxes, and it’s a conventional five-door hatchback this time around, too.

And what a hatchback – check out the bulked shoulders and hips on this thing, not to mention the vents in the front and rear guards which likely allow excess brake heat to dissipate more easily, and the trademark central exhaust outlet that pokes from below the back bumper. The rear diffuser is race spec, clearly.

The jewel-like LED daytime running lights – as seen on the smaller facelifted Clio RS – sing the family song, and the front-end styling is entirely more aggressive than the regular Megane hatch upon which this devilish red example is based.

We’ve only got one real concern over the styling, based on these pics – how will our numberplates look on that front bar? It’s pretty delicate in its design…

Under its shapely bonnet will be a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with an expected 225kW of power and 400Nm of torque. It will employ the same rear-wheel steering system that the company currently uses on the GT variants of the Megane range, as well as a limited-slip differential and a completely reworked chassis. Expect two states of suspension tune – Sport, for the more liveable option, and Cup, for the hardcore hot-hatch lover.

We expect to see the all-new 2018 Renault Megane RS debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September – but more images may surface before then. Stay tuned.