New models - Renault - Megane - RS250 range
First drive: Renault gets sporty with Megane
Yellow fever strikes with sensational hot new Renault Megane road racer
1 Nov 2010
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.
Rivalling high-performance Euro hatches such as the VW Golf GTI and Ford Focus XR5 Turbo, the piping-hot RS250 three-door hatch twins are powered by a revised 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine – a variation of the unit in the previous X84 Megane RS – that produces 184kW of power at 5500rpm and 340Nm of torque at 3000rpm.
The ‘250’ refers to the fact that the engine produces approximately 250 brake horsepower.
It drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox and a limited-slip differential. Claimed acceleration from 0-100km/h is 6.1 seconds, with 1000m from standstill covered in 25.7 seconds.
Combined-cycle fuel consumption is 8.7L/100km, while CO2 emissions are rated at 195g/km.
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