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Frankfurt show: Renault’s Megane buffs up

Sacre bleu: Renault’s fourth-generation Megane has been officially revealed in pictures of the GT version in its hero colour, Iron Blue.

More muscular Renault Megane revealed in pre-launch images of sporty GT

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Renault logo8 Sep 2015

By RON HAMMERTON

RENAULT has bowed to the inevitable and released official pictures and video of its all-new Megane hatchback after leaked marketing images swept the internet this week.

To be officially launched at next week’s Frankfurt motor show, the fourth-generation Megane is destined to go on sale in Europe in the first half of next year and in Australia about a year from now, when Renault Australia expects it to take the 20-year-old nameplate to the next level in sales.

Apart from a selection of images showing the exterior styling, complete with the new family grille, Renault has revealed that the latest model sits on a much larger footprint than before, with front and rear tracks 47mm and 39mm wider respectively.

The wheelbase of the new platform – based on the Renault-Nissan Alliance CMF modular architecture that has already spawned models such as the Nissan X-Trail, Nissan Qashqai and Renault Talisman – is 28mm longer, while the nose sits 25mm lower.

Exterior designer Frank Le Gall has taken full advantage of the squat stance and short overhangs to produce a muscular design with sculpted sides that he says “give new Megane dynamism and character”.

Modern LED lighting is to the fore. At the front, big C-shaped daytime running lights curve down from the headlights into the bumper, while at the back, wide red lighting strips run almost to the Renault badge in the centre of the hatch.

The French company has confirmed that a GT version will be available from launch, presumably replacing the current 162kW GT 220.

No power or performance figures have yet been revealed, but expect the GT with its “genes of Renault Sport” to take the fight up to the likes of Volkswagen’s Golf GTI.

The GT’s front bumper gets a wider air intake, while the grille sitting behind the big Renault diamond badge has a honeycomb design. At the back, two big squared-off exhaust pipe tips protrude from a silver-painted rear diffuser that Renault claims is “F1 inspired”.

The wheels are 18-inch alloys designed by Renault Sport which is acknowledged for its inputs with Renault Sport badges.

The real flagship Megane RS variants are still under wraps and will be for some time yet.

In Australia, Renault has sold 971 Meganes so far this year, representing a fall of about 8.0 per cent over 2014

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