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Renault goes F1 with Megane

Stove-hot: Hot new Megane packs 169kW and 310Nm of torque.

Renault unveils the hottest ever Megane in the F1 Team R26, and it could come here

3 Oct 2006

RENAULT upped the performance ante at the Paris motor show last week with the Megane F1 Team R26, the sportiest version in the Renault Sport range.

The latest hot Megane borrows its name from Renault’s F1 team challenger in this year’s Formula One championships.

Derived from Megane Renault Sport Cup, it features a limited slip differential for crisper handling, 169kW 2.0-litre engine, Cup chassis and Brembo brakes.

Renault Australia spokesman, Karl Gehling, said the car was on Renault Australia’s wish list and if approved, could be available in limited numbers here early next year.

The car could be shown at the Melbourne motor show in March.

Adding a bit more oomph, Renault has tweaked the Megane’s 2.0-litre 16-valve turbocharged engine with specific engine mapping and modified dual exhausts to deliver 169kW at 5500rpm and 310Nm at 3000rpm, up 4kW and 10Nm over the RenaultSport Megane 225.

The Megane 225 and 225 Cup are priced at $42,490 and $44,490, which makes the Megane F1 Team R26 a sub-$50,000 performance proposition.

Renault claims that 90 per cent of F1 Team R26’s peak torque is available from 2000 to 6000rpm, providing instant low-speed response via its six-speed close-ratio manual gearbox.

The car will hit 100km/h in 6.5 seconds and covers 1000m in just 26.6 seconds, while offering a combined cycle fuel consumption of 8.5L/100km.

35 center imageThe car has a beefed up chassis with independent steering-axis front suspension and a programmed-deflection flexible rear beam. The F1 Team comes with the Cup chassis as standard.

The chassis employs specific dampers and stiffer springs, while damper travel has been slightly increased by reducing the size of the bump stops to optimise handling on poor surfaces.

The new diameter front anti-roll bar and rear suspension layout ensure stiffer anti-roll characteristics for enhanced handling under cornering while a limited slip differential ensures optimum traction.

Following the switch to a tube-in-tube steering column in 2004, the electric power steering control unit of the Megane Renault Sport family was been recalibrated to ensure a more linear feel for added steering precision.

The Brembo brake package has four-pot front callipers and vented 312mm diameter discs with an 11-inch servo that generates maximum pressure within the circuit of 115-bar.

Megane F1 Team R26 is equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tyres (235/40 R18).

Visually, the hot-hatch is distinguished by its specific markings on the bumpers, doors and roof that are optional but free of charge and its red-painted brake callipers.

The car has "Anthracite" 18-inch alloy wheels that echo the colour of the exterior mirrors.

Inside, an F1-style numbered plaque reinforces the car’s exclusivity and sport Recaro seats and aluminium trim highlights are standard.

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