2018 Renault Megane RS: It’s not about power

This all-new Renault Megane RS has got a hell of a lot to live up to. Namely, the reputation of its predecessor, which still looms large in the hot hatch landscape as quite possibly the finest front-wheel drive hot hatch, like, ever. No exaggeration. It'd be a very easy argument to make, and probably win.

So it's actually a very good thing, then, that this all-new Megane RS remains front-wheel drive and has eschewed the class trend for upping the power output to 300bhp and beyond. 

2018 Renault Megane RS

First impressions

Looking past a lairy bright yellow or lurid orange paintjob is often difficult to do, especially when it’s wrapped around a car with 276bhp and a Renaultsport badge on the back, but once you do it’s difficult to be massively excited by the new Megane RS’s looks.

Taking a glance at its competitors – the Ford Focus RS, Honda Civic Type R, even the silly powerful Audi RS 3 – the styling is positively muted by comparison, almost sensible. There are a few clues that it’s packing something special under the skin: a big grille, pressure/drag-reducing vents on its flanks, massive wheels, an airflow friendly splitter under the rear, and a centrally mounted exhaust to name a few. 

Inside there aren’t many clues to the car’s potential, either. A few Renaultsport logos and some carbonfibre-esque trim bits, and those chunky sports seats are all the clues you’re going to get. So if you’re in the market for a hot hatch that, like an Autobot, can hide in plain sight, you’re onto a winner with th...