The new Renault Mégane RS revealed in Frankfurt makes 205 kW thanks to its fresh 1,8-litre turbocharged four-pot heart. That, hot hatch fans with a penchant for maths will notice, is considerably less than some of its direct competitors.
Indeed, the front-wheel-drive Honda Civic Type R (235 kW) and all-wheel-drive rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf R (228 kW in most markets and 213 kW in SA) and the Ford Focus RS (257 kW) all easily out-punch the new Mégane RS on paper.
But the French automaker says its goal with the C-segment hot hatch – which is expected to arrive in South Africa in the second half of 2018, complete with two transmission choices and segment-first four-wheel steering – has never been all about power.
Speaking to CarAdvice, Renault Sport boss Patrice Ratti said that with the Mégane RS track times mattered more.
“In our history of Mégane we have never been the most powerful of the segment, but have often been fastest on a circuit,” Ratti told the Australia publication.
Still, the French automaker has confirmed that a Trophy version will be added to the range before the end of 2018, boasting a power peak output of around 220 kW.
“But it’s not our goal to be most powerful. Our goal is to give the most pleasure and be fastest on the track, and it’s always been like this,” he added, suggesting that the Mégane RS is being prepped to grab back the front-wheel-drive Nürburgring lap record.