Renault is setting the New Zealand hot hatch on fire with a new version of the Megane that takes its inspiration from Formula 1.
The Megane R26 – full name, the Megane Renaultsport F1 Team R26 – is a three-door hatch that will hit 100kmh in less than seven seconds. It sells for $49,990.
Want a R26? You can have it any colour, so long as it’s yellow or black.
Built by Renault’s Renaultsport division at Dieppe in north western France, the Megane R26 was engineered to celebrate Renault’s victory in the 2006 Formula 1 world championship. R26 was the model number of the 2006 Renault Grand Prix racer.
The Megane R26 combines a three-door hatch Cup chassis with completely new settings compared to the five-door hatch Megane Renault Sport 225.
The Cup chassis employs specific dampers and 10 per cent stiffer front springs, and rear damper travel has been slightly increased by reducing the size of the bump stops by 20mm to optimise handling on poor surfaces.
The new diameter front anti-roll bar, increased from 19 to 21mm, and the integration of a new rear axle with an additional anti-roll bar ensure 10 per cent stiffer anti-roll characteristics.
It also has a limited slip differential for even crisper handling, whether driving on the open road or around a racetrack.
It has an enhanced 230-horsepower (169kW) 2.0-litre turbomotor – five horsepower (3kW) more than the Megane RS 225 – and the car has Brembo brakes.
The motor develops peak torque of 310Nm at 3000rpm; 90 per cent of that is available between 2000 and 6000rpm.
The gearbox is a six-speed manual.
Renault says the R26 Megane will accelerate to 100kmh in 6.5 seconds, yet has a combined cycle fuel consumption of 8.5 litres/100km.
The car has unique graphics on the bumpers, doors and roof which can be deleted to special order, and red-painted brake callipers.
It has Anthracite 18-inch alloy wheels which echo the colour of the exterior mirrors.
Inside, a numbered plate similar to that used on each F1 race car reinforces the R26’s exclusive character.
The Megane R26 has a stand still start optimisation feature known as Power Start, which becomes operational when the car is at a standstill with ESP engaged. It enables the car to deliver its maximum acceleration, without losing front-wheel grip.
The Megane F1 Team R26 rides on Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tyres (235/40 R18).