The Mégane Renault Sport is the sporting version of the Mégane II programme. It offers both a strong temperament and remarkable ease of use in everyday operation. Its innovative front suspension, a double axis strut system featuring an independent steering axis ensures precision of steering and handling. Together with its 6-speed manual gearbox, its 225bhp 2.0 Turbo engine provides excellent response from the lowest speeds. Offered in 3-door and 5-door form, this sporting version carries over all the comfort and safety features of Mégane II, whose hatchback version was voted "Car of the Year 2003". The Mégane Renault Sport is built in the Dieppe factory, which is dedicated to manufacture of the brand's sporting cars.
The Mégane Renault Sport benefits from the lessons of the Mégane II programme and from the expertise of Renault Sport Technologies in the area of sporting cars, for series production or competition. Available in 3-door and 5-door form, it combines the qualities of a grand tourer with the driving pleasure of a sports car. The "beast" is beautiful The Mégane Renault Sport presents its sporting character with elegance. Its design is similar to that of Mégane II, whose dynamism and compactness are emphasized by the special features of the Renault Sport models: wide air intake grilles in the bumpers, central twin exhaust pipe, rear wing and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The same character is reflected in the interior design. The deeply curved front seats, and the aluminium pedal cluster and footrest contribute to the sporting air of the cabin interior. The 5 body colours and the 2 interior colour schemes each in their own way reflect the character of the Mégane Renault Sport.
Engineered for precision of control The Mégane Renault Sport is equipped with an independent steering-axis front suspension. This innovative configuration provides steering precision while eliminating the feedback effects often encountered in very powerful front-driven cars. The spring and damper settings have been selected to combine dynamic driving with ride comfort. The braking system, powerful and fade-resistant, consists of four large-diameter discs (312mm ventilated at the front and 300mm at the rear), with 4-piston Brembo calipers at the front. The Continental SportContact2 225/40 R18 tyres were specially developed for this application. The variable-assistance steering system and the driving aid systems (ABS, ESP trajectory control with understeer control, ASR traction control with MSR engine torque regulation on the overrun) have been specially recalibrated for the Mégane Renault Sport.
A lively powertrain, strong at all speeds Renault Sport has developed the 2.0 16v turbocharged engine used in the group's top-range models into a unit of high performance yet suitable for daily use. Its output of 225bhp with 300Nm of torque is achieved thanks to changes to significant components including the turbocharger, the crankshaft and the pistons. With at least 90% of maximum torque available from 2,000 to 6,000rpm, this engine provides strong and continuous output. A specially developed exhaust system creates a characteristically sporting sound.
The 6-speed manual gearbox allows the liveliness of the engine to be fully exploited: acceleration to 100kph is achieved in 6.5sec and the kilometre is covered from rest in 26.7sec. The Mégane Renault Sport achieves the best fuel consumption in its class with 8.8 litres/100km in the mixed cycle (209g of C02/km) and its exhaust emissions meet the Euro 4 fiscal incentive standard. The pleasure of being at the controls The steering wheel and driver's seat, essential ingredients of driving pleasure, can both be adjusted in various ways to allow anyone to achieve an ideal driving position. The sideways support provided by the front seats, and the location of the cushions, has been improved. The Mégane Renault Sport carries across all the features and innovations of Mégane II, such as the tyre pressure monitoring system and also the cruise control/speed limiter system.
Sportiness with complete safety Safety is a Renault priority. The Mégane Renault Sport uses the platform and all the safety features which enabled the Mégane II hatchback to achieve a maximum 5-star rating in the crash tests conducted by the independent Euro-NCAP organization. Its structure allows a large amount of energy to be absorbed in the event of an impact. The third-generation Renault System for Restraint and Protection includes adaptive twin-volume frontal airbags together with safety belts with twin load limiters and twin pretensioners for the front seats. Two side airbags protect the thoraxes of front seat occupants and two curtain airbags protect the heads of front and rear occupants.
Two side airbags are also offered for the back seats. The Mégane Renault Sport is thus equipped with all the features needed to become the benchmark in terms of passive safety in the sports hatchback segment. A long-lasting investment As for the rest of the Mégane II range, service intervals for the Mégane Renault Sport are 30,000km, with spark plugs and air filter required every 60,000km. Its reliability, proven through many durability tests, has allowed the warranty period to be fixed at two years for replacement parts and 12 years against corrosion. In addition, out of respect for the environment, the car has been designed so that it can be easily recycled to the extent of 95% by weight.
The know-how of the Dieppe factory The Dieppe factory is entirely responsible for assembly of the Mégane Renault Sport, taking body shells from Renault's production facility at Palencia is Spain. As with the Clio 2.0 16v and V6, the Mégane Renault Sport benefits from the experience and know-how of a site dedicated to the manufacture of the group's sporting cars.
Positioning and market
The Mégane Renault Sport completes and energizes the Mégane II programme, now consisting of seven body types introduced in 18 months, by entering the market for sporting cars in the C segment. This marke has shown strong growth in Western Europe: it has increased from 5,300 units in 1998 to 30,000 units in 2002. After a slight easing of sales through 2003 (25,000 units), associated with ageing of the available models, 2004 will be notable for fresh expansion of the market for compact sporting cars with the most heavily involved manufacturers introducing new models. Following the Clio 2.0 16v, the Mégane Renault Sport completes Renault's range for this highly competitive sporting market.