Car reviews - Renault - Megane - RS250 Cup Trophee
28 Jan 2011
By JOHN WRIGHT
RENAULT is one of the few marques able to claim ownership of two hero colours that link their passenger cars with a proud racing heritage – French Racing Blue and the yellow associated with Renault’s Formula One racers since the late-1970s.
French Racing Blue harks back to the days when Grand Prix cars waved the national flag via their livery – Italian Red, British Racing Green, white then silver for Germany, blue for France – and was used on sporty road-going Renaults such as the R8 Gordini and the 5 Turbo.
Appropriately, while the recently released Clio Gordini RS200 (see separate story) is available only in blue, the new Renault Megane Renault Sport 250 is available in a bright hue known as Sport Yellow. And you can even specify a ‘Yellow Ambience’ pack that provides yellow and grey seats along with yellow seatbelts.
The RS250 is the more significant of the new pair of Renault Sport models for the company’s planned resurgence in Australia, being a ‘halo’ model with a role for the French marque something like what the Impreza WRX STi has long been to Subaru.
Like every other new Megane, the RS250 has five-star safety credentials and also comes with bright red Brembo four-piston brake callipers gripping huge 340mm ventilated disc rotors on the front wheels while the solid rear rotors measure 290mm in diameter.
The wheels measure 18x8.25 on the Cup model and 19x8.25 on the Cup Trophee, each displaying the Brembo brand clearly, but Trophee customers can elect to have the 18s if they prefer a smoother ride.
Seven exterior colours are offered, with three of them being solid (yellow, red and white) and four metallic (grey, mercury, blue and black). Black wheel rims are specified for all but the blue and black metallic cars, which get contrasting grey rims.
The Megane Renault Sport 250’s extroverted styling elements include LED running lights in the front bumper, a splitter reminiscent of F1 design, a central chrome exhaust outlet, a rear diffuser and flared front and rear guards to accommodate the wider wheel and tyre combinations. Renault Sport badges complete the exterior imagery.
The Cup has Renault Sport seats, leather steering wheel and matching gearknob, carbon-fibre-effect dashboard treatment, onboard telemetry via the Renault Sport Monitor and a ‘Power Start’ feature that controls wheelspin under flat-out acceleration.
The more track-focused RS250 Cup Trophee gets extra features such as Recaro seats (which can be optionally leather-trimmed), tyre pressure monitoring and folding mirrors.
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Did you know?The latest Megane RS’s front suspension features reduced unsprung weight compared to before, with aluminium pivot, pivot carrier, and lower arm item the ball joints are now between the pivot and pivot carrier to reduce the forces to which the steering axis is subjected and the front suspension is attached to a so-called 'horned' subframe, for transverse rigidity which is three times greater than the previous-shape RS.
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