The new Renault Mégane Renault Sport will be powered by a 1.8-litre engine producing 276bhp and 288lb ft – but its creator says that all of the performance deficit to the rival is more than offset by the car’s four-wheel steering system.
The 4Control technology is claimed to increase agility and stability of the car, in which competitors include the Honda Civic Type R, Ford Focus RS and the new Seat Leon Cupra R, which have more than 300bhp.
“The assembly four-wheel steering was the biggest decision that we had to do,” said Renault Sport boss Patrice Ratti.
“We have done a lot of studies and computer simulations, and then put [the system] on the previous generation of [Mégane RS] to create a mule and assess what was possible.
“What became clear was that we had two choices: to make a machine without it, and to make incremental improvements in every area over what had happened before, or to make the car and make a step-change in terms of improvements. The benefits of going in every area of the car dynamics – we were able to rework the shocks, diff, steering, and more.”
Four-wheel steering system allows the rear wheels to turn by up to 2.7 degrees, improves the Mégane RS and the turning radius at low speeds, provides greater all-round agility and enhances high-speed stability. The increased stability, in turn, allows the use of a smaller and therefore more responsive steering ratio. It also mimics some of the role of anti-roll bars, allowing for a different, more rear-biased chassis set-up. The system is already on sale with the Mégane GT, even if it has been revised for the Mégane RS.
Renault has confirmed that the RS hit 0-62mph in less than six seconds, but has not revealed any other type of performance or price, in figures, beyond stressing the engine flexibility with a peak torque available from 2400 to 5000rpm. Peak power arrives at 6000rpm. That suggests its acceleration will be on par with his opponents, but not eclipse. Rats said: “At no point will the team sacrificed fun – which means that the agility, speed. That is never our goal.”
The engine is derived from the 1798cc, aluminium-block unit used in the new Alpine sports car, but the power increase was achieved primarily through the use of a different turbo and the cylinder head, the latter of which was developed in collaboration with the Renault Formula 1 team.
Rats said: “The F1 team skills in the development of high-performance components quickly is incredible – has achieved in one week what would have taken five or six weeks, because of its simulation of know-how.” The drive rev limit is 7000rpm.
The new Mégane RS will also be offered with a choice of Sport or Cup chassis and an automatic EDC gearbox or a six-speed manual. Most of the buyers are required to specify the most concentrated on the Cup and manual transmission combination, or the larger capacity Sports/EOC association. As such, the car has been optimized for those choices. The manual transmission will use the same, tried gearset from the previous-generation car, while the EDC unit has been completely overhauled.
In addition, the Sports chassis will be sold with 18-inch wheels with 235 profile tyres and the Cup with a 19-inch 245 standard wheels with lightweight alloys available as an option further on the great wheel, with a saving of 1.8 kg and improve cooling. Buyers can choose both the size of the wheel, but the car set-up was optimized on the same standard. The Cup car will feature a full mechanical limited-slip differential set-up for the power transfer between the wheels, while the Sport chassis will use an electronic system using the brakes to slow the rotation of a wheel. Electronic LSD system has been considered for the Cup cars, but they are considered “too complex”. A manual hand brake standard for all cars.
Rats said: “sales of the split, at the global level will be 50/50 Sport and in the Cup, but that varies greatly between the regions.” He pointed out that European buyers favour the more performance-focused set-up, while buyers in Asia, including Japan, Renault Sport’s fifth – largest market behind the UNITED kingdom in favour of a soft, set-up and automatic transmission.
The Renault is able to offer options, because of its alliance with Nissan gives it access to the relevant technologies – something not possible with the CED-only Clio.
All Mégane RSs will have four driving modes: Comfort, Normal, Sport and Race. In this last setting on the Cup car, the stability control system will be turned off completely, even if the electronic braking system will stay with the Sport chassis.
Rats also confirmed a Trophy version of the Mégane RS will be developed with 296bhp and 295lb ft, in the vein of the Trophy and R26R models launched with the previous generation car. You keep the manual and the gearbox EDC choices than the regular car, while you use the Cup of the frame and 19in wheels bolted to the lighter aluminium wheel hubs. An assault on the Nürburgring record for front-wheel-drive cars should be made with the Trophy, perhaps to the end of 2018.
“As long as we can make the car faster and still comply with the regulation, then you will try to beat some records,” he confirmed Rats. “However, as I continue to say, I would never swap it for the speed – we have goals that we must reach. But a RS Trophy car is already very interesting.”
The sales of the Mégane RS will begin in the spring of next year, with pricing expected to begin around £ 30,000.
The core team have been transferred from the mainstream Mégane project, and focuses on areas that may integrate the objectives of engineering. The front and rear tracks are, respectively, 60 mm and 45 mm wider than the standard Mégane, the arches are blistering, with air vents at the rear and a rear diffuser is mounted. The rear spoiler is tight for a more sporty look and the front fog lamps are aligned to mimic a checkered flag.
A new logo
The rear part of the vehicle doesn’t carry the Renault name, nor the RS logo flag yesterday. It comes In a new double diamond insignia, inspired by the logo that adorned the R12 Gordini steering wheel in the 1970’s.
Renault Sport engineers are proud of the performance are extracted from the 1.8-litre unit, even if it does not lose the headline-grabbing 300bhp-plus, the figures of the rivals. They say that 153bhp per litre and 160lb ft per liter are quite incisive, and calculate the gain in the previous answer, the maximum time of delivery exceeds the greatest numbers.
The central exhaust means the car race-inspired look. The noise of the exhaust can also be pumped into the cabin to amplify the engine, turbo is note, although this feature can also be disabled. Renault promises that they will bang and crackle during shifts and lift-off too.
Renault Sport has a vibrant history of the launch of colors, especially the yellows. This time, the choice is called Volcanic Orange and is described as “complementary” to the previous yellow. It took one-and-a-half years to develop and will come at a modest price premium.
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