The head of Renault in Australia says the new Mégane RS is head and shoulders above the popular Volkswagen Golf GTI, adding it's actually “a lot closer to the Golf R”.

Speaking to CarAdvice, Renault Australia CEO Andrew Moore suggested since the new Mégane RS is now offered in five-door guise and with the option of a dual-clutch, it can finally attract potential Golf GTI buyers.

“The key feedback from owners and prospective buyers of the last generation were the limitations of a three-door and manual only spec that limited the car as a daily drive – meaning it pretty much sold to purists exclusively," Moore told the publication.

“This new model lacks nothing from an enthusiast’s perspective; in fact, it goes up in power and tech, and with the new Sport chassis and dual-clutch auto option we’ve got much more of a daily driver which could easily widen our market for this car," he said.

Moore added “we clearly see ourselves above the Golf GTI”.

“I mean, we’re talking 205 kW verses 169 kW, so with Mégane RS, we’re a lot closer to the Golf R. In fact, what we’d like is for Golf GTI owners to take a look at the RS and consider the benefits of a lot higher performance for marginally more investment,” he said.

In South Africa, the new Mégane RS is priced at R549 900 (whether you go for the EDC-equipped RS 280 Lux or the harder manual-equipped RS 280 Cup), while the Golf GTI currently comes in at R548 600.

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.