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Renault Megane (2008) spied

Published: 05 November 2007

Pretty impressive…

Indeed, though the nature of this particular straight at the Nurburgring means just about everything can get airborne here. This is the next Megane, rather than any sort of hardcore-spec Renaultsport product – the game being given away by this car's wider wheelarches and bonnet vent on a pre-facelift car. The Mk3 car will make its debut in production form at the Paris Motor Show in autumn 2008. The Mk6 VW Golf is also pencilled in to be shown in Paris at the same time…

Will the next Renault Megane be as good looking as the current car?

That’s a subjective thing: the current Megane has sold well in the UK, but sales have been more sporadic around mainland Europe. Blame that shapely rear, which will be toned down for the next generation car. However, the new Megane will still be adventurously styled, and won’t have any of the conservatism that features heavily on the new Laguna. The Megane range currently kicks off with a 1.4-litre at £11,960 and we expect the Mk3 range to start at under £12k, too. Renault could however spring a surprise, and start the range with the turbocharged 1.2-litre currently found in the Twingo.

How much is the new Megane a Nissan underneath?

We would hope quite a lot judging by cars like the Qashqai. That car was the first off Renault-Nissan’s new C platform – which the new Megane will use – and that bodes well for the ride and handling. Following on from the hatch – which will be available in three- and five-door versions – will be the CC version with a folding metal roof, and also a new Scenic, in regular and stretched Grand forms.

Will the quality be up?

Apparently so. One of CEO Carlos Ghosn’s aims is to take Renault into the top three for product and service quality in every class it competes in. The new Laguna currently manages that, at least on initial perceptions, and the new Megane should follow suit. It’s all about increasing sales, though much of the planned increases in Renault and Nissan volumes will come from cheap, small cars. However, a Megane that sells strongly throughout Europe will also help, as will the Koleos SUV which should appear in production form at Geneva in March 2008. Cars like the Laguna Coupe – which we’ve already scooped in production form – are going to be used to rebuild the reputation of the Renault brand in Europe.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy

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