Renault Megane RS

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Renault Megane RS 265 Cup

Road Test

Renault Megane RS 265 Cup driven

Driven July 2012

Additional Info

In the evolutionary cycle of the RS, this ‘new' one is more of a genetic twist than a whole new breed. Basically, it takes the updated engine from last year's Trophy model - the quickest front-wheel-drive road car around the 'Ring - and adds some new visuals plus a tweaked options list.

And though it doesn't get the Trophy's superior Bridgestones as standard (they're an option), it does get the extra 15bhp, released through a new Sport button that also hardens the exhaust noise.

There's a basic Cup version, which is the one we'd go for, or a slightly softer - but more lushly equipped - 265 model. To add a soupçon of confusion, you can have the 265 with a Cup chassis, but that makes it a bit pricey. So keep it basic: a £24,825 Cup is all you need. It comes with a proper mechanical diff, stiffer springs, dampers and anti-roll bars plus Brembo brakes. And it now does 0-62mph in six seconds dead, down by a tenth from before.

This is still one of the finest hot hatches, and the small gains edge it further ahead of the competition in our hot-hatch pecking order. The changes are more empirical than experiential, but they don't spoil a good thing.

Dan Read

The numbers
1998cc, 265bhp, 266lb ft, 34.4mpg, 190g/km CO2, 0-62mph in 6.0secs, 158mph, 1387kg

The verdict
Small mid-life updates make the RS slightly fresher and faster. So it's still our favourite hot hatch...

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