Renault Megane RS 280

Renault Megane RS 280 (Picture: RENAULT)

Regardless of all their fanfare, one of these car not often truly sells all that properly, merely performing as a halo for the remainder of their hatchback vary.

If those self same hatchbacks are beneath risk from the rise of crossovers – some producers like Citroen have already ditched them altogether – then the viability of getting a hot-hatch flagship may start to lose any monetary sense.

Making sense emotionally, after all, is one other matter although. In order fanatics which can be eager on our driving, we’re solely too joyful to see that a number of firms are nonetheless producing them.

For all of VW, Ford and Peugeot’s robust reputations within the scorching hatch world, Renault in all probability all too usually will get missed for its historical past of manufacturing go-faster fashions.

Its scorching Clios have at all times had a really loyal following with the likes of the Williams within the 1990s and whereas the most recent isn’t maybe as sharp as some rivals, Renault’s faster Meganes, like this newest RS 280, have at all times been excellent drivers’ vehicles.

They’ve at all times regarded the half too and this RS 280 with its lowered sports activities suspension, hunkered-down look, over-sized black 19in alloy wheels and central exhaust all shout out the message to any observers that that is very a lot a set of wheels for the individual sat on the steering wheel.

Truthful sufficient, it might not be as blatantly in-your-face because the likes of the Honda Civic Kind R however just like the VW Golf GTI or Peugeot’s 308 GTI, this Megane appears to be like muscular and purposeful while not having to over-do it – just like the distinction between Daniel Craig as James Bond and, say, Jason Statham.

Beneath the bonnet the Megane definitely packs a punch to match these appears to be like too. On paper, it solely has a turbo-charged 1.8-litre petrol engine however as its title means that produces a not-inconsiderable 280bhp.

Renault Megane RS 280

Renault Megane RS 280 (Picture: RENAULT)

Renault Megane RS 280

Renault Megane RS 280 (Picture: RENAULT)

That’s an terrible lot to place by way of the entrance wheels nevertheless it’s sufficient to get the Renault from zero to 60mph in simply 5.Eight seconds and onto a 158mph high velocity.

Formally too, it produces 163g/ km emissions and 39.2mpg common gasoline economic system however good luck attempting to copy that whereas utilising any of the Megane’s efficiency.

In reality, the temptations of the RS begin the second you climb behind the wheel. As you press the beginning button and the engine settles right into a deep burble, there are hints of what lies forward.

The deeply bolstered, agency sports activities seats, the leather-based and suede-effect Alcantara steering wheel with a rally-style colored centre strip, the crimson stitching on the gear lever and short-handled handbrake.

All minor particulars maybe however the total impact is pleasant and helps to detract from a number of the extra customary parts of the cabin. The gear lever has a brief distance to fit into gear and also you’re off with surprisingly little fanfare. Not completely in contrast to Peugeot’s 308 GTI, initially left in consolation mode, this Megane appears remarkably compliant.

Renault Megane RS 280

Renault Megane RS 280 (Picture: RENAULT)

Renault Megane RS 280

Renault Megane RS 280 (Picture: RENAULT)

The trip is just a little agency however definitely not unreasonable and the RS appears remarkably simple to drive in city areas, particularly on condition that straight-line efficiency however then the highway opens up and a really totally different machine emerges.

The engine proves to be extremely responsive and exploring the Renault’s potential simply leaves you hungry for extra.

These acceleration figures show that it is a fast automobile from standstill nevertheless it’s mid-range the place the tempo takes your breath away.

There’s a considerable quantity of grip from the tyres however notably in damp situations you must deal with the throttle with respect to keep away from any wheelspin as you speed up.

Within the dry although there’s no delay from the engine as you may count on, it simply surges up the highway, sucking the horizon under the windscreen.

Renault Megane RS 280

Renault Megane RS 280 (Picture: RENAULT)

Then snatching one other gear from that short-throw gearbox solely sees that relenting for the shortest time. Higher but, that’s backed up with sharp steering and likewise some very highly effective brakes too.

That tight sports activities seat clenches you tightly in place, making you are feeling at one with the automobile and simply enhancing that concerned really feel nonetheless additional.

You possibly can change the driving modes to Sport and even Race however until you’re on the smoothest of roads, it’s not definitely worth the bother.

The trip then turns into too agency for something apart from a circuit day and it truly hinders quite than helps your progress because of this.

As our automobile had the optionally available Cup chassis (an additional £1,500) fitted, we didn’t doubt that it will be a really spectacular automobile certainly, in a position to humble loads of so-called severe sports activities vehicles.

On the highway nonetheless, it’s finest to go away it in customary mode and the Megane proves to be one of many perfect scorching hatches on the market.

Renault Megane RS 280

Renault Megane RS 280 (Picture: RENAULT)

Renault Megane RS 280

Renault Megane RS 280 (Picture: RENAULT)

On the face of it, which may appear a simple recipe to observe however extra producers than you’d think about wrestle to stroll the wonderful line between a useable scorching hatch and a automobile that’s just too harsh to make use of every day.

Renault’s engineers have managed it right here although, with loads of suggestions from the steering and the motive force’s seat about what the automobile is doing beneath you that builds your confidence and permits you exploit much more of the automobile’s unimaginable efficiency.

At this or certainly any degree, there are only a few vehicles that handle to color a smile throughout your face like this Megane.

Even higher, that is additionally an actual big killer with a really actual potential to embarrass way more costly sports activities vehicles down a twisty nation highway – precisely the type of attribute that scorching hatches must be providing.

What’s extra, this Megane RS additionally reveals that the idea of the recent hatch may be very a lot alive and properly and for that we’re very grateful certainly.

Renault Megane RS 280

Renault Megane RS 280 (Picture: RENAULT)


Mannequin: Renault Megane RS 280

On sale: Subsequent month

Worth: from £27,495

Engine: Turbo-petrol – 1.8-litre

Energy: zero to 60mph in 5.Eight seconds, 158mph high velocity

Common gasoline economic system: 39.2mpg

CO2 emissions: 163g/km

Rivals: Audi RS3, Honda Civic Kind R, VW Golf GTI

Ranking: 9/10

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