Hot Megane RS 280

sees Renault fly

Renault Megane RS 280, 2018, front, action
Renault Megane RS 280, 2018, rear, action
Renault Megane RS 280, 2018, front, static
Renault Megane RS 280, 2018, side, static
Renault Megane RS 280, 2018, interior
Renault Megane RS 280, 2018, rear diffuser
Renault Megane RS 280, 2018, engine
Renault Megane RS 280, 2018, boot
Renault Megane RS 280, 2018, seats

WITH French car maker Renault still heavily involved with motorsport it's hardly surprising the technology spin-off seeps through to ordinary models.

But in the case of the new Megane RS 280 there's clearly nothing humble about this latest fourth generation mode.

It's a very hot hatch in every sense and clearly aimed at the serious sports driving enthusiast.

With 278 bhp on tap, an acceleration of 0 to 62mph in just 5.8 seconds and a claimed top speed of 158mph this flying machine is definitely not for the soft-hearted and it costs from £27,810.

To say it's a treat to drive is not an understatement because it's so exciting on the road and with so many safety features on board you can't really go wrong.

The new 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine has been shipped over from the Alpine A110 sports car and although it replaces the previous two-litre unit it's upped the power output by 5bhp.

It also has a first in this class of car with an active four-wheel steering system that boosts the car's agility at slow speeds and in particular controls steering the rear wheels up to 62mph.

In the Megane RS 280 fitted with what is called the Cup Chassis (a £1,500 option) the car features a limited slip-differential, stiffer springs and dampers plus red brake calipers which are almost obligatory for such models.

The ride is fairly firm but the body has poise and is well balanced and the Megane RS has excellent handling, certainly if the driver puts it into Race or Perso mode.

There are five driving modes in total and officially the Megane RS 280 is rated at 35.3mpg with emissions of 181g/km.

For those who love it, there's the rasping exhaust note too but driving this newcomer you quickly discover it's rewards with ideal sensitivity on the accelerator, a nice weighty steering and the extra damping stops it from bouncing around, noticeably when cornering briskly.

The car's chassis is crucial to all this and plays an important part in its sports performance making all the difference over the previus model.

Inside, the ergonomics are good with ideal pedal positioning and a fully adjustable steering wheel so it will suit most drivers.

Overall the interior fittings and equipment are slightly superior to that of its main rival in this sector, the Honda Civic Type R.

For sports performance fans this new Megane (incidentally still a five-door body shell unlike most ‘hot' hatches) will not disappoint and with this new 1.8-litre engine under the bonnet it really does fit the bill.

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