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Renault's world title victory dance

Victory march: Renault R26 takes on its Megane namesake.

French celebrate with limited edition Megane

7 Mar 2007

RENAULT pulled a surprise hot hatch out of its bag at the Melbourne motor show with the Megane R26 – or Megane Renaultsport 228 F1 Team R26, to give the car its full title.

Featuring a small power and torque jump (up 3kW and 10Nm to 168kW at 5000rpm and 310Nm at 3000rpm respectively) from its 2.0-litre twin-cam turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the R26 also has revisions to the already massaged Megane Cup chassis and suspension settings for “crisper” steering and handling properties.

To this end, there are new dampers with more travel for greater rough-surface handling, smaller suspension bump stops, stiffer springs, a revised front anti-roll bar and uprated tyres.

Aiding wet-weather traction is a limited-slip differential, while a louder exhaust and a thankfully modest paint job aptly dubbed “Victory Yellow” (black is also available) have also been incorporated to commemorate Renault’s dual F1 World Championship titles in 2006.

Australia will only receive only 80 of the fastest Megane yet exported, and all will be in the three-door hatchback body style. Pricing will be set at the Megane R26’s mid-2007 launch, but expect it to be in the low-$40,000 vicinity.

As a precursor to the Melbourne Formula One Grand Prix later this month, Renault presented Australian race fans with the first glimpse of its 2007 title challenger, the R27.

Read more: Renault goes F1 with Megane

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