Subtle change makes the RS stand out

2018-12-20 06:00
PHOTO: QUICKPICThe 2019 Renault Sport Mègane RS LUX EDC.

PHOTO: QUICKPICThe 2019 Renault Sport Mègane RS LUX EDC.

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This article features the 2019 Renault Sport Mègane RS LUX EDC, but the other one is called Renault Sport Mègane RS CUP and has marginally different specs. Those include larger wheels, wider and lower-profiled tyres, a mechanical handbrake, manual transmission, stiffer springs and shocks. Both are R549 900.

The engine is slightly smaller than in 2015, when last I drove one, but the new unit claims an added four kilowatts and 30 Newton-metres.

As for appearance, it looks much the same although practically every detail has changed; grille, headlamps, bonnet, wheels, side mirrors, tail lamps, roof spoiler, tail gate, rear diffuser, two more doors and air scoops in the widened fenders. Big ones. That’s just the outside. The interior is different too, with an 8,5” touchscreen control centre and redone vents, instruments, steering wheel, switchgear, gauges and dashboard.

What you can’t see is 4Control four-wheel steering. At speeds below 60 km/h it nudges the rear wheels as much as 2.7 degrees left when you’re aiming right and vice versa. It quickens steering response and adds a feeling of playfulness to winding and twisty roads. Go faster and the back wheels point very slightly in the same direction as those in front. This enhances handling stability and provides a “relaxed yet sporty experience”. Mègane RS, in either form, is more powerful, develops more torque and accelerates faster. It costs less too.

The numbers

Price: R549 900

Engine: 1798 cc, 16-valve, four-cylinder, direct injection turbopetrol

Power: 205 kW at 6 000 rpm

Torque: 390 Nm between 2 400 and 4 500 rpm

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