This new Renault Megane RS Ultime is the last ever Renault Megane RS
Only 1,976 examples of this run-out hot hatch will be built
This is the last ever Renault Megane RS. It is called the Renault Megane RS Ultime, and it marks the end of one of the greatest hot hatch dynasties in history. It’s also really yellow.
‘Sirius Yellow’, in fact, a colour that “brings back Renault Sport’s iconic colours”, though black, white and even orange are available. What sits underneath that RS-specific paintwork and special stripes is a known-quantity.
The RS Ultime takes the RS Trophy as its base, which means a 300bhp Alpine A110-derived four-cylinder turbo petrol engine up front, 310lb ft of torque, the ‘EDC’ auto gearbox and a proper Torsen mechanical diff.
It gets the lowered ‘Cup’ chassis, hydraulic bump stops and the four-wheel steering setup, along with semi-slick Bridgestones developed for the hardcore Trophy R. Renault has shod the Ultime in 19in ‘Fuji’ light alloy wheels and fitted Brembo dual-cast brakes with red calipers.
Still a quick car, this RS. Renault claims 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds, even with its additional bulk. Renault tells us it’s 60mm wider up front with 45mm wider rear arches, and gets side air vents, ‘RS Vision’ headlights, a central exhaust, ‘shark-fin’ antenna and a rear diffuser.
There’s the obligatory Recaro buckets inside, Alcantara upholstery and the all-important RS embroidery that definitely adds horsepower (so we’re told). But creature comforts make an appearance: a 9.3in nav screen, Bose hifi, 10in digital cluster, on-board telemetry, adaptive cruise and ‘360-degree manoeuvring aids’.
“Megane RS represents 15 years of my work at Renault Sport,” explains Renault Group development driver Laurent Hurgon, who’s spent his career setting the Megane RS’s track records. “Since the Megane II Phase 2, we have constantly improved its dynamic performance in order to remain the leader in front-wheel-drive sports cars.
“The records on the Nürburgring Nordschleife are unforgettable challenges, full of passion, adrenaline and emotion. And now, Megane RS Ultime. I am particularly proud to sign the version crowning this wonderful saga.”
Only 1,976 Ultimes will be built – to reference the year Renault Sport was founded – and it’ll make its debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon later this week, “in a country that has an estimated 10,000 fans of the brand’s sports models”.
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So, it’s the last ever Megane RS… until Alpine ‘writes the next chapters in this story’. As long as it's yellow…