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2019 Renault Megane R.S. priced from $44,990, arrives September

The long-awaited all-new 2019 Renault Megane R.S. will officially arrive in Australia in September. The French carmaker has just announced that pricing for the hot hatch will start from $44,990, plus on-road costs.

With an array of hot hatches flooding the market recently, The Renault Megane R.S. will have its work cut out to stand out. Lucky for the French brand the new model brings with it the added convenience of four doors instead of two, as well as offering a dual-clutch automatic for the first time. Purists of the old two-door model will no doubt have their arms up in the air.

A first for the hot hatch market is the Renault Megane R.S.’s 4CONTROL four-wheel-steer system. At speeds over 60km/h (or 100km/h in Race mode), the front and rear wheels turn in the same direction for increased stability. At speeds of less than 60km/h (or at 100km/h in Race mode), the front and rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to give increased agility, particularly through tight corners.

Buyers will have the choice of either the Sport or Cup chassis (manual transmission only). Renault says the Sport chassis is “suggested for those drivers who like a sporty, but still refined, drive”, while the Cup chassis receives “revised springs, dampers and bump stops” and is 10 per cent stiffer than the Sport chassis. Most importantly, the Cup model comes with a new Torsen mechanical limited slip differential that provides different lock-up values under acceleration and deceleration.

The new 1.8-litre turbocharged engine has been specifically developed for the Megane R.S., and produces 205kW and 390Nm peak torque from 2400rpm. These numbers will make it the most-powerful 1.8-litre engine available in Australia.

As mentioned above, the R.S. model will for the first time come with the option of a dual-clutch automatic transmission. Don’t fear, though, as the R.S. will also come available with a six-speed manual – because adding two-doors was already enough change, right? The dual-clutch gearbox has been on offer in other models in the Renault range, however it has been revised and strengthened to withstand the R.S.’s extra grunt.

Renault says the Brembo braking system is improved over the previous model, with 355mm discs up front (up 15mm compared with the outgoing model). Buyers who go for the Cup chassis will benefit Brembo’s bi-material brakes, which are a mix of aluminium and iron to help reduce the Cup’s un-sprung weight (1.8kg per wheel).

In terms of handling, the all-new Megane R.S. features shock absorbers with hydraulic bump stops all round, as standard. What this means is that there’s a shock absorber within the shock absorber, and as the end of travel approaches, a secondary piston dampens the movement of the wheel before the bump stop. Renault says this technology can “help avoid any rebound and pendulum effects, enabling optimum control of tyre-ground contact and providing the feeling of having eight dampers” on the car.

Inside the cabin there’s custom R.S. roof lining, R.S. chrome-plated door sills, sports seats, an 8.7-inch portrait touchscreen with satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control, handsfree keycard with automatic locking and welcome function, and a Nappa leather steering wheel.

The exterior of the Megane R.S. offers a distinctive, pumped-up appearance over the regular Megane lineup, which is thanks to a custom front bumper with an F1-style blade and honeycomb grille, a “functioning” rear diffuser, a rear spoiler, and a central exit exhaust.

Standard safety technology will include front, rear and side parking sensors, rear parking camera, handsfree parking, heated folding electric door mirrors, blind spot warning, and adaptive cruise control with distance warning and automatic emergency braking.

Other standout features include a full LED lighting system, 19-inch ‘Interlagos’ alloy wheels, and Renault’s R.S. Monitor system which uses approximately 40 sensors around the car to display info such as lap times and wheel angle.

Renault says Australia has historically been one of Renault Sport’s biggest markets for the hot hatch, with 53,000 Megane R.S. models sold globally so far. Stay tuned closer to September when we will bring you more info and a full review.

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Josh Bennis

Josh has worked within the automotive journalism landscape for the best part of a decade. He's driven everything from a 1972 Mazda 808 station wagon to an Aston Martin DBS. Josh's job is to make sure New Vehicle Buyer readers remain informed and entertained on a daily basis.

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