What are the best Megane R.S models ever made? It's a question with no wrong answer to many, but these are easily three top models for any enthusiast to enjoy.
The Megane R.S is a hot hatch icon and renowned for impressive performance that gave it Nurburgring lap records - not a feat just any manufacturer can lay claim to. In short, the Renault Sport model features a more powerful engine than the normal Megane, sports-tuned suspension, and some exclusive features. But there are some special models that are the king of the hill when it comes to Megane R.S models, and these are our top three picks.
Renault Megane R26.R
It only takes a glance at the specs of this great hot hatch to know that it was always going to go down in the history books.
Some of the extras that Renault injects into this special edition Megane include a carbon fibre bonnet, the removal of the rear seat, a red roll cage, Sabelt bucket seats up front with harness seat belt and plastic rear windows to remove as much weight as possible (an incredible 123kg in total). The R26.R could also be specced with a titanium exhaust.
Road registerable overseas, the Megane R26.R set a new front-driven lap record at the Nürburgring circuit in 8 minutes and 17 seconds.
The four-cylinder turbocharged engine of the Megane R.S remains unchanged, producing 171kW and 310Nm through a six-speed manual transmission, but its lighter weight gave it a quick 0-100km/h time of 6.0 seconds, and a top speed of 237km/h. It was a honking hot hatch in its time and remains a legend front-wheel drive car.
While never sold in Australia, we did later get the Megane Trophy-R…
Renault Megane RS Trophy-R
This model was sold in Australia and we received 50 of the 250 units made at a driveaway price (at the time) of $67,490. The Megane RS Trophy-R has a total track focus and while similar in many ways to the R26.R it turned up the wick a little more.
The 2.0L turbo engine has an output of 221kW and 400Nm of torque but weighing 1306kg it was faster than the standard R.S.
Shaving weight from the model is the liberal use of carbon fibre for parts, carbon ceramic brakes, and carbon fibre wheels.
Like the R26R, the Trophy-R went on to claim the FWD production car lap record at the Nürburgring at a blistering 7 minutes 58 seconds.
Renault Megane Ultime
A Megane hot hatch you can buy? Well, sort of. Just 40 units are coming to Australia, so supply is tight. Retail pricing is set at $67,500 before on-road costs.
This special edition model comes as the last ever Renault Sport model, so it is something very special. Although Australia gets only 40 units, worldwide production is set at 1976 units, in honour of Renault Sport’s founding year.
The Megane Ultimae gets the Trophy-R’s four-piston Brembo brakes, lightweight 19-inch Fuji wheels wrapped in semi-slick Bridgestone Potenza S007 tyres, sportier seating position and unique decals on the exterior, plus plaques inside the cabin.
Power is delivered by the Megane R.S’ standard 1.8-litre turbo petrol engine producing 224kW and 420Nm, but this model is less of an outright Nurburgring weapon and more of a special send of to one of Renault’s most successful and loved hot hatches.