A NEW hot hatch from Renault has broken cover at the Frankfurt Motor Show in the shape of the latest Megane Renault Sport, complete with four-wheel steering.
Due for release early next year, the next generation Megane RS is powered by a new 1.-8-litre turbo engine developing 230bhp and capable of giving the car a 0 to 60 acceleration in the region of 5.5 seconds.
Two chassis options will be on offer - Sport and Cup - the latter available with a limited slip differential.
An even hotter Trophy version, designed for track and competition use and with 300bhp on tap will be released later.
The Renault Sport car is significantly wider than the standard Megane with sporty bodywork adding more than two inches to the front wings allowing for a greater track.
It sits on either 18 or 19-inch alloys and its looks include an F1-style front splitter, wide air intakes and a diamond pattern grille.
Chequered flag style LED fog lamps sit either side of the front air scoop while the rear of the Megane RS incorporates a matt finish diffuser flanking a central, wide exhaust.
The cockpit has sports seats and high tech kit including an RS Monitor which relays performance data on to the car's 8.7-inch display screen.
For real enthusiasts the data can be downloaded and shared online via a bespoke website for Renault Sport owners.
Uprated brakes with Brembo callipers are part of the performance set up and the car can be specified either as a six-speed manual or with a six-speed electronic semi-automatic transmission which uses paddle shifters for rapid-fire manual changes.
The new Megane RS has been tested by Renault's F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg who praised the car's agility.
"Thanks to the new technologies it packs, including 4CONTROL technology, the new Megane RS. is even more efficient and nimble than its predecessor. It's a delight to drive," he said.
Multi-mode drive settings are standard fit and so is a launch control programme for rapid take off in the car's Race or Sport configurations.
Renault is also showing its Symbioz self-driving car of the future at Frankfurt - an electric vehicle that is designed to be integrated into the family home as well as driven as an electric vehicle.
With swivelling front seats, pillarless doors and gullwing windows it can double as a living room on wheels.
Renault says the Symbioz is a concept of what motoring could be like come 2030 but the French car maker has also indicated it is developing autonomous vehicles which could be on the road within six years.
Laurens van der Acker, Renault's head of design, said: "No longer can we think of car design in isolation from the ecosystem surrounding us, or from the evolution of major changes like electric energy use, connected and autonomous drive technologies that influence our lives as we move from place to place.
"This is truly a unique project that allowed us to work with our planners, designers and engineers, academics and architects, start-ups and sociologues to explore new boundaries in customer experience, technology and energy use and design harmony to form a complete experience."
To prove the point about the Symbioz being part of the family home, Renault is showing the car at Frankfurt inside a prefabricated house it has created especially for the show where the vehicle can be used as another room - even while it is being recharged or while helping power the property from its own battery power.