► Next-gen Megane Renault Sport spotted
► Dual-clutch and manual versions planned
► Expected to knock on the door of 300bhp
The new Renault Megane RS has been spotted once again, this time during cold-weather testing in Sweden. It’s wearing more camouflage than we’ve seen previously, suggesting its bodywork is closer to the final showroom spec than earlier test mules.
2017 Renault Sport Megane: what to expect
It’s fair to say that the latest generation of Renault Megane hasn’t got off to the most auspicious start. It’s entered a very hotly contested sector, facing the likes of the VW Golf and Ford Focus, and garnered middling reviews across the board. More frustratingly, the first warm version – the four-wheel-steer GT – transpired to be similarly unremarkable.
Things, as the lyrics go, are going to get better, however – with the introduction of the 2017 Megane RS. At least we sincerely hope they are. The initial murmurings about the car, at least, are promising; it will feature a turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing up to 300bhp, along with predictably improved brakes and uprated suspension.
Don’t expect another iteration of the current 2.0-litre F4RT (seriously, who came up with that?) engine found in the current Megane RS, however. That powerplant reputedly can’t meet new emissions and output requirements, suggesting that an all-new engine will find its way into this high-performance Megane.
It’s also hinted that both manual and automatic versions of the RS will be offered, sating drivers who like the added degree of involvement and those who like the ability to easily execute impeccable launches from every set of lights.
Our latest spy shots also show the new Megane being tested against the all-wheel-drive VW Golf R, one of the most highly regarded hot hatches on sale. Whether the Megane also deploys its power to all of its four wheels, however, is yet to be confirmed.
Rumours initially suggested that Renault had adopted all-wheel drive, like the aforementioned Golf R and esteemed Focus RS. While it’s tricky to tell from the spy shots we’ve seen, which feature RS test mules in slightly hacked-about Megane attire, little appears to have changed at the rear – in terms of hardware and layout – so the fitment of all-wheel-drive seems unlikely.
The prototypes’ central exhaust potentially further hints at the absence of a rear diff and associated propshaft. Then there’s Renault’s established front-drive hot-hatch legacy, and the fact that the new RS’ suggested power output doesn’t eclipse the previous generation – adding more credibility to the concept of FWD remaining.
Otherwise, you can expect the next-gen RS to feature flared arches, a more aggressive stance and bigger air intakes up front – to both feed and cool that turbocharged four.
We shouldn’t have to wait too long to find out more, though; we understand the new Megane RS will get its full reveal at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2017, with deliveries starting towards the end of the year.
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