France’s answer to the barnstorming 257kW/440Nm Ford Focus RS, the 2018 Renault Megane RS, has been spied testing in Spain disguised as a 2016 Renault Megane GT.
Upon first inspection, the car in question appears to be a Megane GT, however, after closer examination, the centrally mounted twin-exhaust system, Brembo brakes with slotted rotors and a significantly lower ride height indicate that this is, in fact, the 2018 Renault Megane RS disguised as its lukewarm little brother.
The 2018 Renault Megane RS will be a stark departure from the current coupe inspired three-door hatch. Offered solely as a five-door hatchback, the Megane RS will take aim at the Ford Focus RS, Golf R and Audi S3 for a slice of the increasingly popular hot-performance hatch market.
The next generation Megane RS is expected to benefit from a significant power increase over the current 201kW/360Nm Megane R.S. 275 Trophy-R which produces. A power hike to approximately 240kW seems likely if the Megane RS is to remain competitive with the market dominating Ford Focus RS.
Speculation is still rife as to whether or not the new Megane RS will discard the current front-wheel-drive configuration in favour of a more practical and usable all-wheel-drive arrangement.
In a market segment most commonly measured in 0-100km/h times, it would seem appropriate for the Megane to adopt all-wheel-drive if it is to remain competitive with the Golf R and Focus RS.