Renault Megane Ultime evaluation | — Australia’s main information web site

Renault has referred to as time on turbocharged hatchbacks, and the brand new Renault Megane RS Ultime would be the final automotive supplied by the model’s efficiency automotive arm.

Ultime means au revoir

There’ll by no means be one other high-performance Renault. Not as we all know them, anyway.

Renault Sport has stopped constructing turbocharged hatchbacks, electing to log out a long time of fun-loving compact automobiles with a last spin within the Megane RS.

Restricted to 1976 examples all over the world – a nod to the yr of its origin – the final Megane represents one of the crucial potent front-wheel-drive automobiles on the highway.

Simply 40 are coming to Australia, a lot of which will likely be snapped up by collectors.

It rights a few of Renault’s wrongs

The fourth-generation Megane RS was a case research in how to not launch a automotive.

Renault slashed warranties from 5 to 3 years and deleted fascinating options corresponding to Recaro Seats, Michelin tyres and the titanium Akrapovič exhaust of earlier fashions.

As soon as-standard components corresponding to light-weight alloys, a limited-slip differential and track-honed “Cup” suspension turned non-obligatory extras, and divisive four-wheel-steering expertise drew loads of criticism again in 2018.

Rival manufacturers together with Honda, Toyota, VW and even Hyundai snatched market share.

Later examples of the Megane mounted a lot of these flaws with a sharper focus and extra gear, together with the Recaro sports activities seats, light-weight alloys and high-performance tyres of this Ultime.

The Megane is nice to drive

Renault Sport’s final automobiles symbolize a return to type.

Unashamedly targeted, this Megane has an attractive mixture of grip and agility that encourages you to strategy corners in a means that isn’t advisable in most sportscars.

Large brakes and fats tyres assist you to assault the entry of a nook earlier than the rear-steer kicks in to assist the automotive discover an apex.

It then rewards early dedication to the throttle with turbocharged torque and excellent traction due to a limited-slip diff.

Issue within the rally automotive theatrics of the snappiest paddle-shift transmission in a sub-$100,000 automotive and you’ve got a scorching hatch that delivers uncommon thrills.

However is much from good

There may be nonetheless room for enchancment. The suspension is punishingly agency the gear shift paddles are awkwardly mounted to the steering column, relatively than the again of the steering wheel.

We skilled electrical gremlins in our time with the automotive, and a fast search means that many house owners have had points with an undersized battery in late-model Meganes.

There’s additionally the small – or giant – matter of its asking worth, which is about $73,000 drive-away in handbook trim or $76,000 for the auto examined right here. That’s huge cash.

There will likely be one other chapter

Renault has not turned its again on efficiency automobiles altogether. Having re-branded its Components 1 crew from the yellow of Renault to Alpine blue, the corporate says “Alpine, Renault Group’s sports activities automotive model, will write the following chapters on this story”.

Count on to see Alpine-fettled quick automobiles sooner or later, together with scorching hatchbacks for the electrical age.

Engineers making an attempt to invoke the spirit of Renault Sport have a troublesome job on the highway forward.

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