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Future models - Renault - Megane - RS 275 Trophy

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Only 100: The hardcore 202kW Renault Megane RS 275 will come to Australia this September in very limited numbers from less than $60,000.

Online sales a possibility for limited edition Renault Megane RS 275 from September

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Renault logo15 May 2014

By MIKE COSTELLO

RENAULT Australia is poised to follow Subaru’s lead and sell one of its supply-restricted performance vehicles online rather than through traditional brick-and-mortar dealerships.

The vehicle in question is the manic front-drive Megane RS 275, a special limited-run version of the hot-selling RS 265 coupe that gets more power and a number of track-honed extras.

Australia, which is staggeringly the world’s second-biggest market for the RS 265 behind only France, will receive an allocation of just 100 units around September this year.

The 202kW RS 275 will sit above the current range-topping RS 265 Trophy + which retails at $51,640 plus on-road costs. Renault Australia says it will sneak in under $60,000.

Such a limited production run means Renault’s local arm is looking at a new way of selling it, namely online.

When Subaru launched the BRZ in 2012, supply restrictions that rendered it unable to share stock between its dealers prompted it to take the industry lead and trial such a system.

Subsequently, as the stock situation has improved, Subaru dealers have started selling the cars traditionally. Because the Renault is a one-off, such a scenario would not be repeated.

Renault Australia corporate communications manager Emily Fadeyev said today that while the car’s September arrival made it too early to lock-in the method by which it would be sold, the company was considering an online route.

“It is still a little bit away, (but) we’re looking at whether there might be a different sales channel,” she said.

“Yes, it would be fair to say we are looking at it (online sales).” The RS 275, which is based on the recently updated Megane replete with styling revisions, is the latest in a sequence of limited-edition versions including the Trophy in 2011, Red Bull Racing RB7 in 2013 and RB8 in 2013.

Under the click body sits the hardcore version of the RS 265’s Cup chassis with a limited-slip differential. Also fitted are Ohlins adjustable road-and-track dampers with steel springs and optional super-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.

In addition, the familiar 2.0-litre engine gets a boost to 202kW (or 275hp, hence the name) up from 195kW on the standard car, while torque remains unchanged at 360Nm.

Fitted along with this revised powertrain is a titanium exhaust system (with a carbon-fibre tail pipe) made by Akrapovic that is said to emit a more raucous bark than the RS 265’s does.

Unique styling touches include a grey front apron, special Trophy decals and flag graphics, numbered door-sill guards and – as an option – 19-inch Speedline Turini wheels derived from Megane racecars.

As reported, Renault is believed to be set on re-taking the front-drive Nurburgring lap record with the RS 275, which it recently lost to the 206kW Seat Leon Cupra. With a time of 7:58.4, the Seat trounced the Renault by almost 10 seconds.

However, Renault promises to reveal some news on June 16, having teased the press and public alike with a secretive social media post simply called #UNDER8.

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