I wasn’t deliberately looking for Saab alternatives. This just popped up on my RSS feed and I felt compelled to have another look.
Having checked it out, I have to say there’s a genuine chance that if Saab go belly-up this year, that I’ll be looking for one of these on the second hand market in around 2014.
It’s the new Renault Megane RS coupe. It’s a hatch. It’s got a turbocharged four that puts out 250hp and a broad torque curve that tops out at 340Nm. It’s a reasonably good looker, aggressive in the right way and with the sort of eye-catching paint scheme that hasn’t been seen on a Saab since 2002.
The full press release for this car is after the jump but I’ll ask now: Apart from the wheels and a rather fat looking arse (not so evident in this photo), what’s not to like here?
As an aside: Imagine if Augustsson and Mauer had their way and there was a full range of Saab 9-3 body styles right from 2003, with proper marketing and support instead of this “it won’t sell in the US market” crap that went on back then….. I reckon we’d have a 9-3 Viggen that could blow this baby out of the water by now.
NEW MÉGANE RENAULT SPORT: 250HP OF SHEER PLEASURE
As the latest in a long line of Renault sporting models, New Mégane Renault Sport stands out through its exhilarating performance and handling. The cocktail of its 250hp engine, unmistakable sporting coupé credentials and choice of two chassis (‘Sport’ and ‘Cup’ with limited slip differential) is clear evidence that New Mégane Renault Sport has been honed to offer an extreme ride.
Coming after Mégane F1 Team R26 and Mégane R26.R, New Mégane Renault Sport profits fully from Renault Sport Technologies’ extensive experience when it comes to manufacturing production sporting models.
New Mégane Renault Sport is powered by a new-generation 2-litre 16-valve turbocharged petrol engine which boasts maximum power of 250hp (184kW) at 5,500rpm and peak torque of 340Nm from 3,000rpm. The sum of the different improvements made to this engine has produced a gain of 20hp and 40Nm over Mégane R26.R which itself emerged as the yardstick in the world of performance hatches. The Renault Sport 2.0 T engine’s twin-scroll turbo is exceptionally responsive and is particularly flexible at lows revs, with 80 per cent of maximum torque available from 1,900rpm. Its broad useful rev band makes it a genuine joy to drive in everyday use, and the pleasure remains all the way up to the rev-limiter whenever it is pushed a little harder. The engine of New Mégane Renault Sport drives through a six-speed manual gearbox.
Work has also gone into the acoustics of the Renault Sport 2.0 T engine to produce a telltale sporty pitch audible inside the cabin under acceleration.
New Mégane Renault Sport has inherited the same suspension arrangement as the current Mégane Renault Sport. Thanks to an independent steering axis layout at the front, the suspension and steering functions have been separated to ensure a particularly high standard of handling and traction performance.
Like the sporting versions of the Renault Clio and Renault Twingo ranges, New Mégane R.S. is available with a choice of two chassis: the ‘Sport’ chassis or the ‘Cup’ chassis, which comes with a limited slip differential for even greater traction.
The electric power steering features specific, sportier calibration and benefits from the latest improvements seen on New Renault Mégane aimed at achieving greater precision and even more feedback from the road.
New Mégane Renault Sport is equipped with ESC which is fully disconnectable in order to enable owners to sample the pleasure of enjoying their car’s full potential round a circuit.
New Mégane R.S. benefits from undeniably sporty looks. The front bumper incorporates the LED daytime running lights, as well as the splitter which recalls the low-slung nose of the R28 Formula 1 car. The sporty calling of this Renault Sport-badged model is further emphasized by its 18-inch aluminium alloy rims, central exhaust tailpipe and rear diffuser.
The interior appointments, too, exude the world of motor sport, from the extra lateral support for the seats, to the analogue rev-counter with visual and audible gearshift indicator, the aluminium pedal cover and the specific steering wheel complete with thumb rests. The Renault Sport signature is also visible inside the car: on the headrests, rev-counter background and dashboard.
New Mégane Renault Sport profits fully from Renault Sport Technologies’ extensive experience when it comes to manufacturing production sporting models.
Renault Sport Technologies has combined its experience of motor sport with its longstanding production expertise to develop a comprehensive range of sporting cars. The hallmarks of Renault Sport models are their pedigree engines and efficient chassis which together deliver an undeniably high level of sports performance, as testified by the reputation forged by Mégane F1 Team R26 and Mégane R26.R which were voted ‘Sporting Car of the Year’ in France in 2007 and 2008 respectively.