The brand new five-door-only 2018 Renault Megane RS has made its high-profile world premiere at the Frankfurt motor show today, and damn it if the company hasn't knocked the design out of the park...
The third-generation, painted in lurid orange, gets a new turbocharged 1.8-litre engine with 205kW at 6000rpm and 390Nm of torque - not exactly Ford Focus RS or Honda Civic Type R numbers... This engine is shared with the upcoming Alpine A110 coupe.
For the first time, the new Megane RS can be specified with a six-speed manual gearbox (purists rejoice!) or six-speed EDC dual-clutch transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle-shift gear changes.
The FWD pocket rocket is also equipped with Renault's 4CONTROL four-wheel steering system, a claimed segment-first. There'll also be Sport and Cup tunes - the latter with a new Torsen limited slip diff.
“Our intention is to see the all-new Megane RS with its chassis and 4CONTROL, remain THE C-segment hot hatch benchmark,” says general manager of Renault Sport Cars Patrice Ratti.
Stylistically there are wider tracks and new 18- or 19-inch wheels. A wide air intake feeds airflow to the heat-exchangers for more efficient engine cooling and the rear lip spoiler has been redesigned to generate additional downforce.
The styling incorporates numerous cues from the world of motorsport, including a rear diffusor, an F1-style front blade and a 3D honeycomb-pattern grill mesh, while the sculpted flanks are a hallmark.
This is also first production car to feature the new Renault Sport badging common to both Renault Sport Racing and Renault Sport Cars, while the new dynamic body colour – Tonic Orange – has been added.
In keeping with the rest of the Mégane range, the RS gets Renault’s Multi-Sense system with five driving modes: Comfort, Normal, Sport, Race and Perso. Under the body are four hydraulic compression bump stops, "inspired by rally driving".
The bucket seats can be finished in Alcantara or a carbon fibre weave, while there's a digital instrument panel, decorative red stitching, aluminium pedals and an 8.7-inch portrait touchscreen with R-LINK 2 and Apple CarPlay.
The MY18 model also gets RS Monitor onboard telemetry technology, which features an ‘Expert’ mode that allows users to connect a camera, film their drive, play back and analyse data, and share their images on social media.
True to form, Renault Sport will also be introducing a 300-horsepower (224kW) ‘Trophy’ version of the Megane RS at the end of 2018. Order books for the regular model open in December 2017.