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Renault Megane RS news - Geneva show: Renault Megane RS - 2009

Want one.
The covers have just come off the RenaultSport Megane (or Renault Megane RS - the
names seem to be used interchangeably) in Geneva, and we’re already wheedling
Renault for a drive in one.

great, doesn’t it? There’s plenty of the Megane Trophy racer that we saw back
in Paris last autumn about the front end, with its dipping chin, plastic front
clip, big arches - which, in a very neat touch, morph into brake vents at the
back - and most excellent two-tone alloys. The centre exit exhaust mounted
within the diffuser is deeply cool, too.

In fact,
the only styling detail we’re not so keen on are the strangely bulging side
sills, but we’ll let those fly for the moment. Overall, it’s a fantastic
looking thing.

But you want
to know about the power and the fastness, don’t you? Here goes: 247bhp courtesy
of a heavily revised version of Renault’s two-litre twin scroll turbo petrol
engine. That’s 20bhp more than the current RenaultSport Megane R26.R, and -
though Renault hasn’t released performance figures yet - should be good for a
0-60mph time of around six seconds. That’s plenty enough to worry the Focus RS,
despite the Ford packing an extra 60bhp.

often waits a while before releasing the stiffer ‘Cup’ versions of its hot
hatches, but the sharper chassis will be available immediately in the Megane,
along with a limited slip diff. The steering has also been heavily revised,
while Renault asserts that the traction control can be switched off. Fully off.

The new
Megane RS goes on sale later this year in three-door guise: Renault doesn’t
seem to have any plans to release a five-door RS, which is just fine by us.
Though we’re yet to find out prices, expect them to remain similar to the
outgoing model. A lot cheaper than the Focus RS, in other words.

So, assuming it drives as well as the outgoing RenaultSport Megane, is
this the new king of the hot hatch pile? Let the fight begin… 

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