Ahoy, hot hatch fans. Particularly lovers of yellow paintwork, rude-looking arches, and rear-wheel steering-induced snap oversteer. Ahoy to you. The lightly tweaked Megane RS is back, atop the mildly refreshed Renault Megane range. It’s aiming to get into your wallet before the new Golf GTI and Cupra Leon do.
So, the prices. The entry-level version is the comfy-spec Megane RS 300. That’s right, even the base model now develops just shy of 300bhp. With a manual gearbox as standard, it’s good for 0-62mph in 5.7sec and a top speed of 260km/h. Eat your heart out, BMW M3 drivers. Especially as the basic Renault (which has plenty of toys, so isn’t that basic really) is yours for £30,895 or around 1,250,000THB.
Fancy letting two clutches and some paddleshifters swap your gears for you? That’s an extra £1,600 or 65,000THB. You get a smidge more torque, but despite that boost and the faster shift times, the Megane RS ‘EDC’ is no faster off the line and actually tops out at a mere 158mph. Hah-hah, still faster than that twerp in his M3.
The other model in the range is the stiffer Megane RS Trophy: yours from £34,895 or around 1,420,000THB. It’s exactly as quick as its non-Trophy twin, but beyond the tougher springs, you get a limited-slip differential and much Renault-oneupmanship smugness.
There are of course other Meganes for people in less of a rush: the headliner is a new plug-
in hybrid good for a claimed 90.56km/l (oh please) and 30g/km of CO2, if you drive everywhere in a laboratory test situation.
Renault says the PHEV, which can travel 48 kilometres on battery power alone, has been brought about thanks to lessons learnt in F1 engine technology. Great! Just don’t try to race a Mercedes hybrid on your commute. You’ll get lapped.
Annoyingly, prices for this ‘E-Tech’ hybrid are still under wraps, but with prices starting at £20,740 or 820,000THB approx. for a bargain-basement Megane and rising to £36,495 or 1,230,000THB for an RS Trophy with the paddleshift ‘box, Top Gear maths says the plug-in one will be somewhere inbetween, on price as well as poke.