Monte Carlo – Renault Sport’s third-generation Mégane RS will make its first public appearance on Friday 26 May during practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix, ahead of its official debut at the Frankfurt motor show.
The Monaco preview car, which will be driven on the day by Renault F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg, will be finished in a special yellow and black livery to mark the 40th anniversary of Renault’s involvement in Formula One.
Renault Sport’s road cars have always benefited from Renault’s F1 engineering experience, it says, from independent steering axis front suspension and a choice of Sport and Cup chassis with specially tuned suspension set-ups, to Brembo brake callipers, RS Monitor and Recaro seats.
The Mégane RS is its flagship model – hence Friday’s maiden outing on the world’s most iconic street circuit.
Downsized engine in the works?
The company has yet to release technical details of the all-new Mégane RS, but it has been rumoured that the two-litre turbo is on its way out, to be replaced by an uprated version of the 1.6-litre turbopetrol four already seen in the Clio RS and the Mégane GT, with ‘more than 200kW’, driving the front wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (possibly with the option of a six-speed manual) and also featuring the GT’s four-wheel steering.
What is certain is that, unlike the current three-door Mégane RS, Renault Sport’s new kick-ass hatch will have to be a five-door; there’s no three-door version of the fourth generation Mégane that it’s based on.