Renault has just swiped the covers off this, its hottest-ever Renaultsport Megane hot hatch. The new 2009 model – official title, the New Megane Renaultsport 250 – builds on the company’s growing dominance in the pocket rocket middle market. Remember how Peugeot used to rule the roost? Well, now Renault is one of our favourite specialists in hot hatchery.
The new Renaultsport Megane 250 gains a handy 25 horsepower more over the outgoing 225, thanks to a bolstered 2.0-litre, 16v turbo four. It’s another metric badge, so the sporty Megane delivers 247bhp at 5500rpm and a stout 251lb ft at 3000rpm. Renault’s men in white coats claim that 80% of maximum torque swells in at just 1900rpm.
A Renaultsport Megane… so it’ll handle, right?
We’d expect so. Forgive the eulogies, but everyone at CAR who’s driven the outgoing limited edition R26R Megane was blown away by its purity of response and nimble moves. Yes, it was a run-out special, but we’d expect much of its agility to pass over to the new Megane 250.
Two different chassis settings will be available: Sport and Cup, the latter boasting a limited slip diff to keep those ponies in check.
The Renaulsport Megane 250 lands in UK dealers in October 2009 and we’re hearing word that it’ll carry a price tag in the region of £23-24k.
Any other Megane stories?
Ah, glad you asked that. We nearly forgot about the new Megane Sport Tourer – one of six world debuts from Renault at the 2009 Geneva motor show. It follows the design template of the Megane hatch, but adds a longer wheelbase and rear overhang to stretch the boot capacity somewhat to a chunky 524 litres (or 1595 in house-moving mode). You can even split the boot into two zones. Useful if you have a pair of fighting Chihuahuas slung in the boot.
The new Megane Sport Tourer also introduces Renault’s latest downsized engine, badged TCe 130. Rather than give away its capacity (a diddy 1.4), that figure refers to peak power. Everyone’s downsizing right now and this new engine is claimed to have the torque of a 2.0-litre engine with better emissions than a 1.6.
If the TCe engine is too niche for you, pick between five petrols and three diesel motors. The Megane estate arrives in August 2009.