First unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the New Renault Megane RS has been eagerly awaited by sports driving enthusiasts all over the globe. Aiming to become – like its predecessors – a benchmark in the C-segment hot hatch market, this third generation of Megane RS is packed full of Renault Sport expertise and passion.
We did a short piece on just after the launch on Megane's RS Cup, Sport and Trophy versions which you can read here but, if you want to know all there is to know about the RS, then keep on reading.
Driven by its powerful design and focused on performance, New Renault Megane RS makes no attempt to hide its motorsport pedigree, offering outstanding driving pleasure both on the road and the track.
The chassis combines efficiency, agility, stability, and comfort, and it's equipped with the 4CONTROL four-wheel steering system and four hydraulic bump stop shock absorbers too.
It has a new generation 1.8-litre turbo engine, delivering 280hp and 390Nm thanks to the development work jointly carried out by engineers from Renault Sport Cars and Renault Sport Racing, and customers can choose one of four versions, adapted to all uses, with two types of transmission available (manual or EDC gearbox) and two types of chassis (Sport or Cup).
State-of-the-art technological features, such as R.S. Vision, MULTI-SENSE or the new version of R.S. Monitor, are all there too.
4CONTROL technology: exclusive to the segment
Having raised the bar on handling with Megane III R.S., the chassis and suspension system engineers have pushed the limits even further by introducing 4CONTROL technology on New Megane RS. Provided as standard on the Sport and Cup chassis, this four-wheel steering system is a world first in the compact sports car segment.
Renault Sport's chassis and suspension system experts have extensively revised the settings of the 4CONTROL system in order to adapt it to a high-performance sports car. This has created an even more efficient driving experience, giving drivers the feeling that the car is literally glued to the road.
The 4CONTROL system delivers outstanding agility through tight turns and impressive cornering stability at higher speeds:
At low speeds, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels, up to a maximum angle of 2.7 degrees. The 4CONTROL system really comes into its own on twisty, winding roads, the 20% more direct steering delivering incisive handling. The settings chosen deliver better entry on corners and a "playful" side that is unprecedented on a front-wheel-drive car.
At high speeds, the front and rear wheels turn in the same direction, limited to a one-degree angle for the rear wheels. With the rear wheels perfectly aligned, the driver enjoys increased stability and a relaxed yet sporty driving experience.
The switchover point is set at 60kph. This is increased to 100kph in Race mode. As this mode is intended to be used when driving on racetracks, the higher cornering speeds encountered explain this specific setting. The 4CONTROL system then helps drivers in positioning the car on the right line through corners, enabling them to get back on the accelerator as soon as possible.
Included since the first generation of Megane RS that appeared in 2004, the independent steering-axis front suspension epitomises Renault Sport's expertise in chassis and suspension systems. Initially designed for use in motorsport, the independent steering-axis front suspension has been adapted to powerful front-wheel-drive cars, especially when they are also fitted with a limited slip differential.
The front axle of New Renault Megane RS has been entirely redesigned in order to adapt the negative offset geometry to the width of the 19-inch wheels, this increases rigidity.
New Renault Megane RS is available with two chassis: Sport and Cup. These options, which allows customers to choose between two types of handling, stand out thanks to the specific suspensions settings (springs, shock absorbers, stops, and anti-roll bar stiffness).
Designed to be at its most efficient on the road, New Megane RS's Sport chassis provides new versatility on all types of surface, including the poorest quality and most uneven roads. It comes with new shock absorbers and an electronically-controlled torque distribution system. By acting independently on the drive wheel brakes, this technology limits understeer and improves traction when exiting corners.
Suited to intense sports-style use and especially to driving on racetracks, the Cup chassis offers a 10% stiffer damper system and a new Torsen mechanical limited slip differential.
With modified settings compared with the previous generation, this new diff improves handling in all phases:
During deceleration, the lower transfer rate (25%, compared with 30% on Megane III RS) means that the vehicle achieves a more precise entry to corners;
During acceleration, the higher transfer rate (45%, compared with 38% on Megane III RS) increases traction and limits understeer, an inherent feature of front-wheel drive vehicles.
Previously acclaimed on Megane III RS, the braking system has been improved, offering drivers greater power, endurance and therefore confidence behind the wheel. The diameter of the front brake discs has been increased to 355mm (+15mm compared with the previous generation). Available as an option on the Cup chassis, bi-material aluminium/cast iron discs help reduce the weight per wheel by 1.8kg, whilst improving cooling during intensive use. The brake pedal setting focuses on the accuracy of the pressure applied, enabling drivers to remain in complete control, especially on the racetrack.
The second brand new feature on the chassis of New Renault Megane RS is hidden in its suspension. Once again, Renault Sport has raised the bar by fitting the hydraulic compression stops to all four shock absorbers. This rallying-inspired technology involves integrating a "shock absorber within the shock absorber". As the end of travel is approached, a secondary piston dampens the movement of the wheel before the bump stop. By dissipating the energy without transferring it to the wheel, as a traditional bump stop would, the compression hydraulic stops help avoid any rebound and pendulum effects, enabling optimum control of tyre-ground contact.
Whilst providing increased comfort when negotiating everyday obstacles (speed bumps, pot holes, etc.), the hydraulic stops also filter out high-speed disruptions:
On the Sport chassis, sporty driving is made easier, with best-in-class efficiency;
On the Cup chassis, greater sports performance is provided, with fewer trajectory variations and disruptions for the driver.
A brand new 1.8-litre turbo engine derived from Alliance synergies
New Renault Megane RS comes with a new version of the 1.8-litre direct injection turbo engine, derived from synergies in the Renault-Nissan Alliance. This version develops a power output of 280hp (205 kW) at 6,000rpm and a peak torque of 390Nm available from 2,400 to 4,800rpm. A key factor in driving pleasure and comfort, the car boasts one of the best torque ratings in the category.
In order to achieve the required performances, Renault Sport's engine specialists designed a completely new cylinder head, with a reinforced structure and more efficient cooling that dissipates heat right next to the combustion chamber. The design was entrusted to a task force made up of the best specialists from Renault Sport Cars, Renault Sport Racing and the Renault Technocentre. By using the calculation and simulation facilities at the Viry-Châtillon site, development time was slashed to just six months.
Work also focused on the Twin Scroll turbocharger, already used on Megane III RS This technology helps to improve torque at low revs.
To increase the supply of cool air to the engine, the air intake was redesigned with the addition of a second air inlet and a new, larger filter element.
Still, with improved performance in mind, the new Megane RS's engine has been given surface treatments taken from the world of racing and supercars, such as DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) for the valve lifters and Mirror Bore Coating for the cylinder sleeves.
This modern engine, equipped with a chain-driven timing system, also boasts reduced CO2 emissions and fuel consumption (-11% and -8% respectively compared with Megane III RS).
Widely acclaimed by owners of Megane III RS, the six-speed manual transmission is maintained on New Renault Megane RS
An optional six-speed EDC dual-clutch gearbox is also available now. In order to provide complete reliability, this gearbox – which is already in use on several models in the Renault range – has been strengthened to withstand the torque and revs of a sports car engine. Based on the required take-off acceleration, in-gear acceleration and maximum speed, the Renault Sport engineers defined new gear ratios and specific shift patterns, associated with the MULTI-SENSE modes so as to adapt to all driving styles.
Like racing cars, the EDC gearbox comes with steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles.
The gearshift times depend on which MULTI-SENSE mode is selected:
Comfort and Normal: smooth gear changes, without any jerking;
Sport: quicker gear changes with amplified engine noise;
Race: efficiency with no compromise on comfort, with even quicker gear changes.
In Sport and Race modes, the EDC gearbox also has the following functions:
Multi Change Down: under braking in manual mode, this feature lets you drop several gears simultaneously by pressing and holding down the left-hand paddle. The best gear is then selected in order to exit the corner as efficiently as possible.
Launch Control: the clutch and turbo are pre-loaded, enabling standing starts to be made just as quickly as in a racing car. In Sport mode, traction control provides the driver with additional support in finding the best possible grip in slippery conditions.
With expressive and sporty styling, New Megane RS has been designed to deliver performance, right down to the very last detail. The specific body sides mean that the wings have been widened by 60mm at the front and 45mm at the back (compared with Megane GT). With the ride height lowered by 5 mm compared with Megane GT and new 18- or 19-inch wheels, these new proportions make the car naturally more aggressive.
This powerful design is boosted by a number of features taken from the world of motorsport, which immediately places the New Megane RS in the high-performance category:
A wide air intake in the front bumper that incorporates the F1-style front blade, a hallmark of Renault Sport styling that reflects the brand's involvement in Formula 1. The blade's Gun Metal Grey satin-finish colour contrasts with the brilliant shine of the bodywork;
A 3D honeycomb-pattern grill mesh reinterpreted by Renault Sport;
Sculpted, sensual body sides inherited from the design of Renault Megane are accentuated by the wider front and rear tracks.
Wing-mounted air extractors, which optimise airflow through the wheel arches;
A side sill establishes a link between the front and the rear, the black blade of which evokes the undertray of a Formula 1 car;
A redesigned, narrower rear spoiler to improve aerodynamic performance. Whilst emphasising the width of the car, the vertical vents contribute to aerodynamic efficiency by providing improved lateral air flow;
A rear bumper with a built-in diffuser and the iconic central exhaust that has come to epitomise Renault Megane RS, enhanced by a decorative trim;
Improved efficiency of the diffuser compared with the previous generation. Whilst boosting the sporty feel of the design, this aerodynamic component helps to increase downforce;
The Brembo brake calipers, painted red on the Cup chassis so that they are instantly recognisable to enthusiasts.
Tonic Orange: a dazzling, dynamic colour!
New Megane RS also stands out with an emblematic colour: Tonic Orange, which supplements the palette of Renault Sport colours. Like Sirius Yellow, this new colour has been specifically developed for a vibrant finish and unique reflective effects, highlighting the profile of the car.
The cabin's resolutely sporty design is apparent everywhere you look:
Sports front seats with built-in headrests, boosting the cockpit look of the interior;
Two choices of upholstery (Charcoal weaved fabric or Alcantara);
Red top-stitching in a charcoal grey trim, lending the interior a decidedly sporty feel;
Aluminium pedals and specially-designed gearshift lever.
Specific work was done on the shape and materials of the seats to find the best compromise between the comfort needed for everyday use and the support required when driving on a racetrack.
Featuring a completely revised, more user-friendly layout and offering extended functionalities, the telemetry and data acquisition system, R.S. Monitor, provides New Megane RS drivers with a new experience. There are two options for the system:
Available when ordering the vehicle, R.S. Monitor gathers and summarises information from forty or so sensors spread around the car. It is, therefore, possible to display a wide range of vehicle settings in real time on the R-Link 2 touchscreen tablet: acceleration, braking, steering wheel angle, the operation of the 4CONTROL system, temperatures and pressures, etc.
Unprecedented in the segment, R.S. Monitor Expert lets you film your driving sessions and then overlays telemetry data in order to obtain superb augmented reality videos. These videos enhance the New Renault Megane RS driver experience and can be instantly shared on social media using applications available for iOS and Android smartphones.
And, if you want to go even further with R.S. Monitor Expert, the recorded data may be exported to the R.S. Replay website. You can then play back your driving sessions, analyse your laps down to the very last detail and compare them with other users from the Renault Sport community.
R.S. Vision: high-performance lighting by Renault Sport
Introduced on New Clio RS, the multi-reflector LED lighting system R.S. Vision comes as standard on New Megane RS. These chequered flag design lights are integrated in the front bumper, either side of the F1-style blade.
Unique in this market segment, R.S. Vision meets the need for powerful, efficient lighting, in line with the other features offered by New Renault Megane RS. Equipped with nine LEDs per block, this system combines four high-performance lighting functions: side lights, cornering lights, fog lights and long-range high beam lights.
With a range of 460 metres (+17% compared with Megane III RS), the high beam lights perfectly complement the Full-LED technology headlamps. For the first time, the C-Shape lighting signature incorporates the indicator lights.
Controlling engine response, the mapping of the accelerator pedal, shift patterns and the stiffness of the steering, the MULTI-SENSE system lets drivers customise their experience according to the circumstances. Five positions are available:
Comfort: specific engine response settings and gearbox shift patterns that reduce fuel consumption;
Normal: a good balance between comfort, acoustics and safety, with an ideal ESP activation threshold for everyday use;
Sport: a sportier disposition, this mode combines more lively response with pleasingly accentuated engine noise, stiffer steering and a delayed ESP activation threshold;
Race: for racetrack driving, the ESP is completely disabled and the settings of the 4CONTROL system deliver even more agile handling;
Perso: this mode allows each driver to customise the settings of the various technologies and driver aids (ADAS) on the vehicle.
The various modes are accessed via the R-Link 2 touchscreen tablet. The R.S. Drive button provides a shortcut to the Sport (short press) and Race (press and hold) modes.
Whilst offering outstanding performance, New Renault Megane RS is also an incredibly versatile sports car, perfectly suited to everyday use.
For the comfort and safety of the driver and the passengers, it comes equipped with all of the advanced technologies featured on Renault Megane:
Retractable colour heads-up display, featuring information about speed, navigation and driver aids;
A dozen or so driver aids (ADAS), including the likes of adaptive cruise control (ACC), active emergency braking system (AEBS), safe distance warning (DW), overspeed alert with traffic sign recognition (OSP with TSR), blind spot warning (BSW), rear-view camera and hands-free parking (Easy Park Assist).
An R-Link 2 touchscreen tablet – with horizontal 7-inch or vertical 8.7-inch screen – can be used to manage all of the vehicle's features:
Activate ADAS, manage the MULTI-SENSE modes, R.S. Monitor, etc. An audio system developed in conjunction with engineers from Bose – featuring a central loudspeaker at the front, eight other speakers spread around the cabin and a subwoofer integrated in the luggage compartment – provides precise, clear and balanced sound.
Need we say more? We are surely looking forward to this amazing, hi-tech machine!
Check out the promo video below for more.