The 2021 Renault Megane RS hot hatch is on track to arrive in Australian showrooms in the first half of next year – with a streamlined range that will adopt the most powerful engine from the flagship Trophy edition.
The 2021 Renault Megane RS will be the brand's sole passenger car offering in Australia next year, as the French brand joins the growing list of manufacturers pivoting to SUVs and commercial vehicles – and all but vacating the passenger vehicle market.
Renault Australia spokesman Andrew Ellis told an online media forum: “Passenger cars have been in decline for a while now. It’s getting harder and harder for passenger cars … SUVs and LCVs (are) where the growth is and that’s where we’re focussing our efforts. Of course still keeping Megane RS, it’s very important for the Renault brand and we’re hanging onto that.”
The current Renault Megane RS Sport and Cup model grades have an output of 205kW/390Nm from the turbo 1.8-litre four-cylinder, while the flagship Renault Megane RS Trophy gets a bump to 221kW/420Nm.
However, the 2021 Renault Megane RS will be available exclusively with the higher output engine – with manual and automatic transmission – though it is unclear which model grades will remain in Australia.
Renault says it will announce more details closer to the showroom arrival of the 2021 model.
In addition to new wheels and minor cosmetic changes inside the cabin, updates to the 2021 Megane RS include the Sport chassis as standard on the regular RS, and in Europe the Trophy can only be had with the Cup setup – including a limited-slip front differential, along with stiffer springs, dampers and anti-roll bars.
Meanwhile, Renault says it is exploring the possibility of RS or RS-Line versions of the Captur and Arkana SUV, but nothing has been confirmed and they are only under study at this stage.
A Renault Australia spokesman said other passenger car models are “constantly under evaluation … but they have to make the (business) case here in Australia.”
MORE: Everything Renault