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Future models - Renault - Megane - Renaultsport 225 "Renault F1 Team"

First look: Renault winds Megane ratchet up with F1 special

Fernando-clone: Renault Megane RS F1 Team mimmicks R26 racer.

Renault to leverage its F1 title with an even hotter Megane, the RenaultSport 225 F1

Renault logo23 Mar 2006

MOVE over Ferrari: Renault hopes to cash in on its 2005 F1 championship victory with a "Renault F1 Team" special edition of its Megane Renaultsport 225 hatch.

Launched in the UK last week – just two days after Fernando Alonso won the opening round of the 2006 FIA Formula One world championship in Bahrain – the Megane F1 is under consideration for sale in Australia.

The newest Megane features a number of cosmetic and mechanical changes that aim to celebrate Alonso’s drivers’ title win and the R26 racecar’s manufacturers’ title victory for Renault last year.

Dressed in metallic blue paint and highlighted by Renault F1 Team decals and detailing, the hottest Megane 225 features an individually numbered plaque and F1 team logo.

The latest Renaultsport model backs up its cosmetic enhancements with a sports-tuned "Cup" chassis that comprises 25 per cent firmer front springs, 77 per cent firmer rear springs, retuned front and rear dampers, switchable ESP stability control "for track days", stiffer electric power steering, Brembo front brake callipers and a larger brake master cylinder.

Black gloss 18 x 8.0-inch alloy wheels (weighing 1.5kg less than the 7.5-inch-wide items on the Megane Renaultsport 225) complete the sportier chassis set-up.

Inside, the Megane F1 gains climate-control air-conditioning and Recaro sports seats trimmed in blue/black cloth to echo the exterior styling.

35 center imagePossibly the first model to feature its maker’s name no fewer than three times in its title, the Renault Megane Renaultsport 225 "Renault F1 Team" special edition is now available in the UK, priced from £19,500 (about $A47,500).

If released in Australia, the range-topping Megane is likely to be available later this year in strictly limited numbers.

Pricing could nudge the $50,000 mark, with the similarly engined Megane Sport 225 currently opening the manual-only Megane hot hatch range at $39,990, the Sport 225 Cup priced at $42,990 and the luxury LX version selling for $46,990.

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