Renault is bidding adieu to both the petrol-powered Megane and its Renault Sport sub-brand with a special edition hot hatch.
Just 40 examples of the 2023 Renault Megane R.S. Ultime are coming to Australia, priced at $67,500 before on-road costs with the six-speed manual transmission and $70,500 before on-roads with the six-speed dual-clutch automatic – up $4500 on the standard R.S. Trophy.
It’s due here mid-year.
A total of 1976 Ultimes will be produced overall, commemorating the founding of Renault Sport in 1976.
The special edition will be offered only in Liquid Yellow, Orange Tonic, Diamond Black and Pearl White. Specification highlights include:
- 19-inch black Fuji Lightweight alloy wheels
- Bridgestone S007 tyres
- Recaro Alcantara front bucket seats
- Numbered plate
It wears bold matte black stripes – inspired by Renault’s refreshed logo – on its roof, bonnet, rear bumper, doors and fenders. The year Renault Sport was established, 1976, is inscribed in the striping on the right-hand side of the vehicle.
The logos, door handles, window frames, wheels, fender caps, rear diffuser, and the front bumper’s Formula 1 blade are all finished in black.
That’s in addition to equipment found on the standard Megane R.S. Trophy, which includes:
- 4Control four-wheel steering
- Brembo high-performance brakes
- Torsen limited-slip differential
- Active valve exhaust system
- 9.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
- Satellite navigation
- 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster
- Bose sound system
- Keyless entry and start with ‘walk away’ locking
- Automatic LED headlights
- Rain-sensing wipers
The suite of safety equipment includes:
- Autonomous emergency braking (low-speed)
- Adaptive cruise control
- Front, rear and side parking sensors
The powertrain is unchanged, meaning a turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine producing 221kW of power at 6000rpm and 420Nm of torque at 3200rpm (400Nm with the manual).
The claimed 0-100km/h time is 5.7 seconds, with combined cycle fuel economy of 8.3L/100km with the manual and 8L/100km with the auto. It requires 98 RON premium unleaded fuel.
The Ultime is backed by the same five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, with five years of roadside assistance and five years of capped-price servicing, equalling a total of $2645 over five years.
“Renault set the blueprint for what a hot hatch should be and has consistently delivered on that blueprint for almost 50 years: nimble, lightweight, highly-tuned engine and a chassis set-up designed for the most challenging of B-roads,” said Renault Australia general manager Glen Sealey.
“This final edition Megane R.S. Ultime is the ultimate expression of the genre and a fitting way to bow out.”
Australia has long been a major buyer of the Megane RS – particularly for the older, manual-only three-door model that preceded today’s higher-tech five-door offering. For years, Renault Australia bragged about being a top three market, often alongside France and Japan.
Renault has continued to offer the hot RS Trophy locally even as it has systematically culled the rest of the Megane range. It sold 102 examples in 2022, down 17.1 per cent on 2021’s tally.
With the smaller Clio RS killed off a few years ago, the Megane’s death will leave Renault’s once enviable cupboard of pocket rockets looking bare.
In doing so, the French brand will take the same path as Ford Australia, which has killed off the Fiesta ST and Focus ST. These discontinuations occur as the hot hatch segment is heating up further in Australia, with the Toyota GR Corolla and latest Honda Civic Type R due this year.
The Volkswagen Group has also recently introduced the Cupra Leon to Australia, an in-house rival to its own Volkswagen Golf GTI and R.
The Renault Group’s next hot hatch will come from the Alpine brand and feature electric power only, with the brand set to offer a fettled version of the upcoming, reborn Renault 5 in 2024.
Renault Australia general manager Glen Sealey said he wants to bring any new electric model he can here, even though the Alpine brand is dormant locally – the A110 was discontinued as it couldn’t meet the new ADR 85/00 side impact standards.
“There’s an electrifying future, we’ve got terrific product coming through,” Mr Sealey told CarExpert recently. “…Any new product that’s announced from the EV side, we have our hands up for.”
- 2023 Renault Megane R.S. Ultime manual: $67,500
- 2023 Renault Megane R.S. Ultime auto: $70,500
All prices exclude on-road costs.