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Prodrive are building this fantastic Renault Megane RX

Racing masters put their minds to circuit-based sideways action

This little beauty is the Renault Megane RX, built by Prodrive for Guerlain Chicherit’s 2018 rallycross campaign. And we love it.

Under the bonnet is a “bespoke 2.0-litre turbocharged engine”, but Prodrive is fairly quiet (i.e. entirely silent) on the rest of the details. So, we’ll fill them in. The Megane RX will compete in the Supercar WRX class, so (going on current regulations) it’ll weigh about 1,300kg, have about 600bhp and 660lb ft – channelled through a four-wheel-drive setup – and do zero to 60 in less than two seconds. Regulations prevent traction control and most other driver aids, so it’ll be a bit of a lively handler.

Drivers like Ken Block, Nelson Piquet Jr and Tanner Foust are in the mix in the Rallycross championship, flinging hyper-hatchbacks around tight courses that blend tight technical sections, high-speed tarmac straights and jumps onto dirt. It’s some serious competition. But we think Prodrive is up to the challenge.

Prodrive, for those who may not be up to just how well they build race cars, currently have six World Rally titles, five World Sportscar titles, four British Touring Car titles, four wins at Le Mans and a Le Mans series title. And possibly a partridge in a pear tree. We’re looking into it.

Oh, and the Subaru WRX STI that busted the Isle of Man lap record? Yep, Prodrive.

And, for those who’ve not seen Chicherit in action, he’s not short on skill – or bravery, for that matter. He’s pretty brisk behind the wheel – stage wins at Dakar, if you’re curious – when he’s not off-piste snowboarding in the French Alps. And, considering how many avalanches happen off piste, that’s either crazy – or crazy brave.

As the first man to complete an “unassisted backflip in a car” (we’re still wondering how you assist someone to do that, other than egging them on), he set his mind to the long jump record. So, after a 100mph drive down a ski slope, he attempted to jump an entire French ski field car park and… well, failed a bit.

Late this year, you’ll be able to see Chicherit testing the Megane RX. Until then, though, check out a taste of rallycross from a while back. See what we mean?

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