The fourth generation Renault Megane was unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show (2015 IAA) this month and will go on sale in Europe in early 2016. Its RS variant was expected to debut next year, but that probably won’t happen.
Regis Fricotte, Renaultsport’s Head of Communications and Sales, told the Australian publication Motoring at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show that “even though the new Megane has been launched, current Megane RS will be on sale for at least another year”.
“We are just launching the hatchback of the new shape, but the coupe and estate of the current Megane are still in production, so we continue RS production until the end of next year, so we still have Megane RS.”
Mr. Fricotte suggested that there may be be a period during which the Megane RS won’t be available at all, neither the current model, nor the next generation model.
“There probably will be a gap, but I’m not going to tell you how long.”
Moreover, Mr. Fricotte confirmed that the next-gen Megane RS will come exclusively as a 5-door hatchback. In fact, there won’t be a standard 3-door Megane this time, and so, obviously no 3-door Megane RS either. Keeping cost considerations and other segment models’ development in mind, it will not be possible to have a 3-door coupe version.
“Considering there is no coupe in the Megane range this GT and RS cannot be a coupe. The design of a coupe is by definition more sporty than a five-door hatchback but you can make a very sporty design on a five-door hatchback.”
Mr. Fricotte hinted that the 2017 Renault Megane RS will have power output rated around 300 hp, possibly more than 300 hp.
“We need to increase performance because as you can see the market in the C-segment is going towards 300 plus horsepower – the Golf R, the Focus, the Civic R is all going up. On average the increase in horsepower is 5 hp per annum. When we launched the new Megane RS in 2010 we were at 250 hp. Today we’re at 275 and if you look at the competitors they are the same.”
“So we’ve got to increase the performance, but it’s not only about performance, it’s the match between performance, emissions and chassis. We’ve never had the car the most powerful, but I believe we’ve had the car the most efficient especially on the track.”
Mr. Fricotte didn’t reveal specifics about the drivetrain layout, but did confirm that all-wheel drive is not planned. The Megane RS will continue being powered solely by a combustion engine and no hybrid powerplant is on the cards. A 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine is expected to power the high performance variant.