Renault is drawing on every ounce of its motorsport expertise to make the new RS special.
Renault has drawn on all of the motorsport credentials at its disposal to create its new Megane RS, including drafting in its F1 driver Nico Hülkenberg to test the car.
What's under the bonnet of the new Megane RS?
The 1.8-litre turbocharged engine has had tweaks made by the same engineers who work on the team's F1 engine in France, and it produces 276bhp and 288lb ft torque. Renault says that the car is good for around 41mpg and emits 155g/km CO2. For the first time the Renaultsport version of the Megane is available with a choice of two transmissions – a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch auto, which uses steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
What about those looks?
The new car is 60mm wider at the front and 45mm wider at the rear than the standard Megane GT. Fancy bodykit designed to look aggressive and enhance the aerodynamics of the car. The central exhaust and rear diffuser are intended to link the car with its motorsport siblings in F1 and elsewhere. A particular highlight is the LED day running lights in the front bumper, which have been designed to look like a chequered flag, so unlike Max Verstappen's recent run of form you'll always get to see it.
Anything else I need to know?
If you're a keen driver you'll enjoy the driver-focused layout inside the car, and even more so the grippy racing seats. The car comes with an 8-7-inch infotainment screen as standard – as if you'd even have time to listen to the radio. But interestingly you can use the RS Monitor feature to display data about your driving on the screen, as well as link a camera to the system to incorporate the data on your video. It won't make you any quicker though...
When it comes to choosing what to buy, there are two versions of the car available – Sport and Cup – the latter gets a limited-slip differential to boost grip, but both get four-wheel steering, which Renault says enhances the agility and cornering capability of the car.
UK prices haven't been announced yet, but start saving up now, because this car will be even more expensive than the new iPhone. But probably still fairly good value for a performance hatchback, in fairness.
I want to go even faster
Good news if you really do – there's an RS Trophy version of the Megane coming by the end of 2018 which will feature an even more impressive 296bhp and 295lb ft torque.