Make / Model Search

New models - Renault - Megane - Renaultsport F1 Team R26

First drive: Red-hot R26 is Renault's greatest RS

It's a Renault, sport: R26 adds power and agility to Megane's RS menu.

Renault winds up the wick of its wicked Megane RS to create the even wilder R26

13 Aug 2007

RENAULT is muscling in on the Ford Focus XR5 Turbo/Volkswagen Golf GTI/HSV Astra VXR/Honda Civic Type R market with its fastest, sharpest and most preposterously named production hot-hatch yet.

Dubbed the Renault Megane Renaultsport (RS) 230 F1 Team R26, it is on sale now, almost 12 months after its October 2006 European debut. Prices commence at $43,990.

The French-built three-door hatch-only R26 sits on top of the continuing, three-tiered petrol-turbo Megane range that kicks off with the three-door 225 from $37,990.

The $44,490 RS 225 Cup five-door model donates its Cup chassis base – which means sharper suspension, recalibrated stability controls, Brembo brakes and an 18-inch wheel and tyre package – but then a raft of upgrades designed to elevate the Megane to the top of the hot-hatch hierarchy have been implemented.

Chief among these is a mechanical limited-slip differential for the first time on a Megane, while the traction control system incorporates ‘launch control’ software that optimises torque delivery through to the front wheels to maximise progress.

35 center imageRevised dampers, stiffer springs, shorter suspension bump-stops for increased rough-road damping, a thicker rear anti-roll bar, stability control that is completely switchable and a sportier sounding exhaust system are also part of the R26 package.

The latter, along with some revised electronics, contributes to an extra 3kW of power and 10Nm of torque being offered by the 1998cc 2.0-litre twin-cam 16-valve turbocharged engine.

The outputs now register at 168kW at 5500rpm (or 230hp – hence the 230 moniker) and 310Nm at 3000rpm, with 90 per cent of torque accessible between 2000 and 6000rpm.

Weighing in at 30kg more than the equivalent RS 225, the R26 tips the scales at 1355kg. Expect fuel consumption to come in at around 9L/100km, while the carbon dioxide emissions figure is 200g/km.

Renault did not supply any Australian-specific sprint times, but European performance figures suggest that the R26 can hit 100km/h from standstill in just over six seconds, and exceed 235km/h.

As before, a six-speed manual gearbox sends drive through to the front wheels, while the front and rear suspension types are MacPherson struts and an H-style torsion beam axle respectively.

Although no changes were made to the Megane’s variable electric powered rack-and-pinion steering system, the Cup chassis pioneered the ‘tube-in-tube’ link device fitted to the whole range last year. To recap, the link slides between two steering column shafts for improved feedback and better filtering out of road vibrations.

Regarding braking, the R26 employs Brembo four-pot front callipers with 312mm in diameter drilled and vented discs up front and 300mm solid discs out back.

Different wheels and tyres round out the R26 exclusivities – amusingly named 18-inch “BeBop” alloys shod with Michelin Pilot Sport Two 235/40 R18 rubber – a change from the Dunlop SportMaxx tyres the other RS models wear.

You will be able to spot an R26 by its grey alloys that only partially hide the red Brembo callipers, along with a smattering of F1 Team decals on the bumpers, roof and doors.

These are a no-cost delete option, although Renaultsport’s Jean Calcet – who is in charge of international sales – says that R26s that have entered the used market in Europe sell faster with the stickers.

Xenon headlights are also part of the package, as is a numbered plaque for each vehicle.

As with the Megane RS’, buyers also score six airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and emergency brake assist, anti-submarining front seats, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control with speed limiter, climate control air-conditioning and a trip computer.

Only 80 R26s will be imported, with the multi-coat Victory Yellow adding $1000 to the only other colour choice, Deep Black.

With 30 per cent of vehicles already accounted for, Renault Australia expects the rest to sell quickly. Last year’s limited run of Cup chassis-equipped RS 225 F1 Team three-door specials – with all 30 painted ‘Ultra Blue’ – flew out dealers’ doors, according to a company spokesman.

Australia is the ninth largest market worldwide for Renaultsport’s products, mostly due to the success of the Clio Sport range.

2007 Renault Megane RS pricing:
225 3-dr $37,990
225 5-dr $42,490
225 Cup 5-dr $44,490
230 F1 Team R26 3-dr $43,990

Read more:

Clio's future

Renault on the rebound - finally

GoAuto can help you buy a new Megane

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Renault models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here