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New turbo choices for SA's Megane

By: IOL Motoring Staff

Johannesburg - Renault's facelifted Mégane has hit SA shores in a new three-model line-up that features a pair of new engines and updated styling that follows the brand's new design language with its bold centrepiece diamond-shaped badges dominating slim black grilles.

2014 Renault Megane.2014 Renault Megane.E3 DYNAMIQUE VERSION - VERY DARK CHARCOAL TRIM - AUTOMATIC AIR-CONDITIONING - MANUAL GEARBOX - RIGHT-HAND DRIVE

Buyers get to choose between an entry-level 81kW Dynamique, 97kW GT-Line Turbo and the top-of-the range 162kW GT Turbo. Each is available as either a five-door Hatch or a three-door Coupé, with identical features and, unusually but sensibly, identical pricing.

The range is built around two new sister versions - the 97kW GT-Line Turbo and the 162kW GT Turbo 162kW, sharing the same design refinement and 'intelligent technologies' but differently focused: The GT-Line is tuned for optimum fuel-efficiency, while the GT is all about spirited performance for everyday use.

Nevertheless, all three come with front, side and curtain airbags, cruise control, ESP stability control, dual-zone climate control, multi-function steering wheel, integrated satnav with Live services, Bluetooth connectivity and rear parking sensors.

NEW TURBO ENGINE FOR GT-LINE

While the entry model soldiers on with the familiar normally aspirated 81kW 1.6-litre engine, the GT Line is fitted with Renault's brand new 1.2-litre turbopetrol four that uses a very low-inertia turbo and direct fuel-injection with a high-tumble strategy derived from F1 for fast and stable combustion.

It produces 97kW at 5200 revs and 205Nm from 2000-3000rpm, with another 20Nm available for up to 20 seconds in second and third gears. It outperforms the 1.4 Turbo it replaces and Renault claims it's equivalent or better than its naturally aspirated 1.6, 1.8 or even two-litre competitors - and at 5.4 litres per 100km it's 14 percent less thirsty than the 1.4 Turbo.

The GT-Line Turbo comes with a distinctive LED-lit front bumper, a rear bumper with an integrated diffuser, 17-inch dark grey alloy wheels and matching dark grey side mirrors and door handles. Inside it's set apart by seats featuring a leather/cloth combination and the GT-Line signature on the front headrests.

GT TURBO TAKES ON GOLF GTI

Renault now has a more direct rival to the Golf GTI with its 162kW Mégane GT Turbo, which is available in both five-door and three-door guises and fitted with a detuned version of the Renault Sport 2-litre turbopetrol motor. The 162kW/340Nm engine will get the model from zero to 100km/h in 7.6 seconds, according to Renault, and to a top speed of 240km/h.

Though the chassis is also derived from the Mégane RS model, it does have specific suspension settings and differently calibrated power steering, while the brakes have been adapted to the car's performance levels.

Setting it apart in the looks department is bespoke front and rear bumpers and 18-inch alloy wheels while the cabin is spruced up with leather/cloth seats and an RS-specific dashboard cluster.

HOW MUCH?

Dynamique 81kW (Hatch or Coupé) - R249 900

GT-Line Turbo 97kW (Hatch or Coupé) - R279 900

GT Turbo 162kW (Hatch or Coupé) - R329 900

Prices include a five-year/150 000km warranty and five-year/90 000km service plan.

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