Welcome to meganesport.net The worlds top resource for owners of the Renault Megane
RS Megane & meganesport.net History - The End of an Era - and the start of a new one!
News broke on the forums last year that if you haven't already got an order in for an R26 or other Megane sport variant - your not getting one! Order books are now closed for the current range bringing to an end production of the latest in Renault's seemingly unstoppable line of class leading hot hatches. As a goodbye to our favourite Renault here's a brief rundown of the current range's history.
Kicking off in 2004 we saw the first of the RS Meganes. Slightly misunderstood at first Renault seemed to be aiming the car as a fast but comfy cruiser. With a slightly softer setup but yet being endowed with the legendary Renault Sport badge it received mixed reviews. Whatever you thought of the original RS Megane there is no doubt it made a big impact with its purposeful yet understated looks and underneath that slightly less than hardcore suspension setup there was always lurking one of the best chassis ever to be forged at the Dieppe plant.
In a swift response to sharpen up the RS Megane and silence its critics in 2005 the Trophy edition appeared.
A number of key improvements were made which although not significantly altering the appearance of the car certainly helped to re direct the Megane Sport back towards it hot hatch roots. Small modifications to the steering, brakes and suspension all added up to a big change and finally the Megane was taken very seriously as a leader in the hot hatch sector. As the trophy was a limited edition with a mere 160 destined for the UK a "cup" version followed shortly after which offered an identical chassis setup in a non limited edition with a wider choice of colours (The trophy was exclusively available in Nimbus Grey).
The Trophy/Cup received widespread acclaim and at this point the RS Megane was starting to appear on more and more petrolhead radars. Following Renault's victory in the 2005 F1 season's constructors championship it was inevitable that there would be some kind of trickledown onto the Renaultsport range. It came in the shape of (To give it it's full title) The Megane Renaultsport F1 Team Special Edition. These days lairy colours and coloured alloys are everywhere but back in 2006 the F1's Ultra blue paint over gloss black wheels was pretty much the wildest looking thing you'd find in any manufacturers showroom. Receiving further tweaks to the steering and suspension and the addition of Recaro seats this was the clearest indication yet of Renault's intention to pitch the Megane as serious drivers car. The entire Megane range had at this time also received a nip and tuck facelift with a smoothing out of the front bumper and rear lights been the most noticeable changes. A revised interior also helped to improve the feel of the cockpit.
Around this time we kept hearing rumours as we often do about yet another 225 Variant. As is always the case a lot of the details turned out not to be the case but we were pleasantly surprised to see that in November of 2006 this latest incarnation came with a slight power hike to 230 BHP and most importantly a Limited Slip Differential or LSD. The F1 R26 made perhaps the biggest impact of any of the other derivatives. Universally loved by the motoring press it got rave reviews and UK dealerships could not sell then fast enough. Essentially based on the F1 it received more suspension tweaks, the LSD and a slightly more purposeful sounding exhaust. Later on a Lux version was added so that full Leather and keyless entry could be ordered with the R26 for the first time. A Glacier White paint option finished off the line of what is destined to become an iconic car in this sector.
Keeping your options open
During the evolution of the Renaultsport Megane range a couple of notable additions to the range popped up. In late 2006 we heard rumours that a diesel powered Renaultsport variant was on the way. We could scarcely believe it until a video sprung up that appeared to show a DCI like engine bay and also some cockpit pictures that made it into a Renaultsport brochure showed a rev counter that topped out at 5k. In April 2007 the Renaultsport Megane DCI 175 landed and added respectable MPG to the long list of Megane attributes. EVO magazine currently run an RS DCI on their "Fast Fleet" where its had nothing but praise. Virtually indistinguishable from the petrol version save for deletion of the rear spoiler and 17 inch alloys in standard trim.
In October 2006 Renault introduced the GT into the Megane line-up. Although officially not part of the Renaultsport range we have always taken the GT under our wing being so. Seen as a stepping stone from the rest of the range the GT was available in slightly more tepid tune than the RS range. A 165 BHP turbocharged petrol and 150 BHP Diesel along with unique bumpers, alloys, sideskirts and trim designs offered up a good percentage of the RS range punch but in a more insurance friendly package. The GT is most easily recognised by the distinctive "GT" inscripted moulding on the bottom of the rear bumper.
Just when you thought it was all over things got a bit silly in France. We can only assume that this final finale to the current range was dreamt up following a drunken Dieppe staff night out but we salute the for it all the same. The Megane R26.R.
Carbot bonnet, roll cage, cut slicks, racing bucket seats, harnesses. You'd be forgiven for thinking your looking at the options list for a Porsche GT2 or RS but no those wonderful barmy Frenchmen decided not to send the current Megane range out with a bang. They preferred it go out with a full on nuclear blast! We could scarcely believe some of the pre release rumours floating around about this car but whereas previously most of the juicy bits of gossip don't make it onto the final car the R26.R delivered in a big way.
123kgs have been sliced from the standard R26 kerb weight with a carbon bonnet and polycarbonate back widow standard. The rear seats are languishing in a French landfill site as is most of the soundproofing. Further changes to the suspension setup have also been made and the cross drilled brakes are gone in favour of more serious grooved items. We're yet to see road tests but a Nurburgring record of 8m17s speaks for itself. The very limted (230 for the UK) R26.R isn't even the top of the hot hatch hierarchy. Its created a genre all of its own. Quite simply there is nothing like it in the showrooms today.
So from its somewhat muddled arrival in 2004 to becoming a benchmark driver focussed performance legend the Megane has had a good run its fair to say.
2009 Will see the launch of the much anticipated new Megane 250.
As you can see from the pictures despite lacking the initial wow factor that the challenging design of the current range did its a still a handsome looking car. The prospects for the all important Renaultsport version look great based on what we can see here. Although slightly bigger (inevitably!) than the current range Renault say that an average of 8kgs has been saved across the new range which again bodes well for the sport version. Interestingly the press information levels the new Megane squarely at the next generation VW Golf and points towards a continuation of the company's ongoing efforts to improve interior fit and finish. We await news on the all new Renaultsport Megane and will of course publish information as and when we receive it.
Meganesport.net was started by Jon Seal in May of 2005. Having recently purchased the original Full fat phase 1 Megane, Jon quickly found that there was a total lack of information on the net despite the car having been released for 6 months previous. During a discussion about this lack of information a friend suggested he set up a website himself. Having very little experience of websites Jon hastily set up a very basic site with a simple forum.
Very quickly we were getting people joining from all over the world with the UK and Australia having the biggest concentration of owners. Over the last 5 years we have embarked on a long and at times frustrating journey with web hosting being a particular source of pain! At one point in 2007 our webhost at the time actually deleted the entire site leaving us with no recent backups! Without mentioning names we left WebFusion and eventually got things settled down allowing the site to continue its amazing growth.
One of the best things about meganesport.net is that because we are a relatively young site a lot of the original club members are still around and we are still small enough (just!) so that at meetings and events most people know each other. We're always heartened also to see how new members are welcomed. Spontaneous fitting of dump valves by complete strangers at meetings is not an uncommon site!
From the first meeting which took place at the French Car Show in 2005 (Actually Jons was the only megane 225 at the FCS that year) we have gone on to grow the numbers attending the main shows to over 100 cars at FCS in 2008. We have also organised trips to the Nurburgring and to Renault Alpine's factory in Dieppe.
At the time of writing we have over 5500 registered users and 500+ full club members.
The site was taken over by myself, Dave Lee in February 2010, having been part of the events and Admin team from the start. Jon is still around in the back ground, making sure I continue his success and offering some technical advise should I need it. The site has just grown from strength to strength over the years and as such, we're having an all new Forum upgrade for April 2010 and a section on the forum for area reps. Our forum attendance at meetings is growing year on year, particularly at FCS and Trax.
Thanks for reading and Welcome to the site.
Check the forums for details on upcoming events and meetings in your area.