The Megane R.S. being previewed today. Next to the Renault are (from left) Tan, Laplanche and Govin.
PETALING JAYA: A preview of the all-new Renault Megane R.S. hot hatch, the iconic performance car from the French marque, was held for members of the media and now comes with five doors and in two variants.
The variant with manual transmission is priced at RM279,888 (on-the-road without insurance); the other with efficient dual clutch (EDC) auto transmission goes for RM299,888.
The new Megane R.S. is slated to be launched later this year.
The fourth-generation Megane R.S. now features a new 1.8L direct injection, twin scroll turbocharged engine mated to either a manual six-speed transmission or six-speed EDC auto transmission. Both variants have the same output and torque at 280PS at 6,000rpm and 390Nm of torque from 2,400rpm to 4,500rpm.
It is also equipped with Renault's 4Control four-wheel steering system, a global first for the C-segment hot hatch and promises outstanding agility through turns and impressive cornering stability at high speeds.
The new Megane R.S. also looks the business with its design cues taken from the world of motorsports. As such, the body is wider at the front by 60mm, 45mm at the rear and the ride height is lowered by 5mm compared to the Megane GT.
It also features a wider air-intake at the front bumper, a 3D honeycomb pattern grille mesh, sculpted body sides, a redesigned narrower rear spoiler and rear bumper with built-in diffuser as well as 19-inch wheels for a more aggressive look.
What is interesting about the new Megane R.S. is that it now comes with five-doors instead of three in its previous iteration and an auto transmission option.
"The Megane R.S. has always been pretty much close to hardcore," Renault Asia Pacific importer operations head Quincy Govin said in an interview.
"We are not the normal, run-of-the-mill sports hatchback. The Megane R.S. has always been this edgy, hardcore sort of thing and Renault has built this up but what we realised is that we've missed out on a very large chunk of the market that wants something quick, fast and practical.
"So, as a result, we see today, the iteration of the new Megane R.S. being only five doors with an option of an automatic gearbox. This will broaden the appeal to a lot more customers who would have otherwise been put-off by only having three-doors and only having a manual transmission," he said.
"We don't want to alienate the customers who are already fans of the manual transmission, so today we previewed the manual transmission variant first to solidify this message to say 'No, we haven't left you out. We're still that hardcore, bad-boy.' But we have a mission to expand this to customers who would otherwise not consider us."
Also present at the event was French ambassador to Malaysia, Frédéric Laplanche, and TC Euro Cars chairman Nicholas Tan.
The new Megane R.S. is available for booking. Test-drives, however, will only be available at Renault's Petaling Jaya showroom from August onwards.
The first 10 customers to book the new Megane R.S. before May 31 will enjoy an all-expense paid trip to France including a unique experience to the Renault Sport facility in Dieppe.
The Megane R.S. comes with a three year or 100,000km warranty (whichever comes first).
First deliveries of the fully imported model are expected in September this year.