2016 was the year that Renault launched their fourth generation Mégane and it was very well received by the public. The car was lowered, all its creases got deeper and the front fascia got much sportier and more modern altogether. All in all, the redesign was a success and as we all know that success leaves a taste for more. So for the 2017 model year Renault brings the Renault Mégane sedan and Sport Tourer. Also, we recently discovered that for the 2018 model year Renault plans to release the 2018 Renault Mégane RS.
Our hearts started pumping a bit louder when we saw the first spyshots of the 2018 Renault Mégane RS prototype. Obviously, many people love an exciting, accessible sports car and we’re no exception.
At first we weren’t sure it was the RS because Renault covered it with the body of the Mégane GT. However, there were some small details that didn’t exactly add up about the exterior, which ultimately convinced us this really was an RS prototype. Specifically, it’s a 2016 Mégane GT, altered for testing a new engine that will be put in the 2018 RS.
Clues new RS
For starters, the hood shows two drill holes which have been welded. These are positioned at the same distance from the middle and betray the presence of a different engine than GT’s.
On the rear, there is a double exhaust in the middle of the bumper. As you can see, the sawing marks are still visible. Of course, the GT’s own exhausts, one on each side, are still on there too. So here’s another clue that Renault is having something different under the GT body.
Then there are the sawed off wheel arches to accommodate the larger wheels. Through the rear wheels it’s also visible that there are large Brembo brake calipers. These are mostly used on more powerful vehicles than the 2016 Mégane GT.
All in all, these are enough signs that Renault is working on the 2018 Renault Mégane RS and that it’s going to be a hatchback. Also, the characteristics discussed here are probably going to be on the production model as well. Those are the large wheels with Brembo brake calipers and centred dual exhausts. Another exterior design feature to expect is larger air vents for more air intake on the front fascia. The car will probably be a bit lower than the regular Mégane. We do expect the same headlights and similar grille and also some deeper creases and more chrome details.
Unfortunately there is not much information about the engine of the 2018 Renault Mégane RS. There are, however, some speculations about the target audience of the RS. This is more or less the same audience as that of the 2016 Ford Focus RS, in terms of price and exterior. So it’s expected that Renault actively wants to compete with Ford on this model.
Now the 2016 Ford Focus RS sports a boosted 2.3 liter turbocharged EcoBoost four cylinder engine that makes 345 horsepower. This is more hp than any of its competitors, so for the 2018 Mégane RS to stand a chance against the Focus RS it should feature an engine that can make at least 300 hp. The Focus RS also comes with All Wheel Drive, so this is definitely something to expect on the 2018 Renault Mégane RS too. Then, there’s the preview of the future 2018 Ford Focus to compare the engine specs too and see what the 2019 Ford Focus RS will take on.
Since Renault is a European car manufacturer and Europeans like their sports cars to come with a manual transmission, we expect the availability of manual transmission besides an automatic shifter.
Even less is known about the interior of the 2018 Renault Mégane RS, but our prediction is that it won’t be revolutionary. Most of the inspiration for the interior will be derived from the 2016 Mégane GT, of course with some RS detailing. We also expect a new colour option for the interior and possibly leather seats and some extra chrome touches.
Furthermore, the seats will of course be real racing seats, with extra suspension and comfort to retain a healthy body while racing the roads. Other changes include the steering wheel: a small, but essential feature that really makes the look of an interior.
We expect a cool hot hatch interior, such as the 2017 Mini John Cooper Works Clubman interior, with enough RS details and overall upscale appearance.
Tech specs are essentially non-existent at the moment. Obviously, all the standard technological features that are present in the 2016 Mégane GT will be carried over on the RS, simply because they’re already there. Optional GT features may become standard on the RS, which can more accurately be estimated when we know the sales price.
The best decision by Renault is to offer the same standard tech features that are discussed in the 2017 Kia Rio review. That afforable hatchback is leading the market with its tech department, which is of course a great part of the future.
Price, reveal and sale date
The 2018 Renault Mégane will go on sale as a 2018 model year, so we expect it to go on sale in the second half of 2017.
The current Renault Mégane GT starts at around $33,000, so we expect the RS to go above that a little bit. We believe the RS is aspiring to compete with the Ford Focus RS, which price starts at $41,000. So we believe the RS will start somewhere in between those prices.
The car is probably going to be revealed somewhere in the spring or summer of 2017. With the prototype only being tested with the engine a winter Auto Show is probably much too early.
Return often to see if we have some updates on this car!