The new Renault Mégane RS has officially touched down in South Africa, with two variants set to be offered at launch.

Interestingly, the Mégane RS 280 Lux (set to go on sale at the start of November 2018) will be available with the French brand’s six-speed dual-clutch (EDC) transmission, while the Mégane RS 280 Cup (expected to go on sale in mid-September) will come with a six-speed manual gearbox. Both, however, will be priced at R549 900.

The Mégane RS 280 Lux EDC runs on 18-inch alloys (although buyers can upgrade to 19-inch items for an extra R8 070) and comes standard with a launch control function. The Mégane RS 280 Cup, meanwhile, benefits from the Cup chassis (as the name suggests), and thus boasts stiffer suspension, a Torsen mechanical limited-slip differential and 19-inch alloys. Renault says both models hit 100 km/h from standstill in 5,8 seconds.

As a reminder, the latest version of the French hot hatch ditches the old 2,0-litre turbocharged petrol engine in favour of a 1,8-litre four-cylinder twin-scroll turbo version tuned to deliver 205 kW and 390 N.m. Peak torque is on tap from 2 400 r/min to 5 000 r/min, while four-wheel steering is standard.

The new Mégane RS features wider wings than those of the standard C-segment hatchback (extended by 60 mm fore and 45mm aft, when compared to the GT model), while its overall width has also been increased. It furthermore gains 355 mm front discs with Brembo callipers, along with the option of “bi-material” cast iron and aluminium brake discs.

Five driving modes will be available: comfort, normal, sport, race (which deactivates the ESC) and an individual “perso” mode.

Renault SA has confirmed to CARmag.co.za that the flagship Trophy version is also planned for the local market, with increased power and what the French brand describes as a variety of “additional performance-focused” features.

Renault Mégane RS