Renault is unleashing its star performer early – the official unveiling isn’t due until the Frankfurt Motor Show in September – to whet our appetites and throw down a gauntlet to rivals. There is, after all, a certain ‘Ring record at stake here…
We might not be able to discern too much about the latest version of France’s best hot hatch from this pre-Monaco GP publicity run, though. Renault Sport F1 driver Nico is sure not to be hanging about and the car will sport an all-over yellow and black paint job to mark the 40th anniversary of Renault’s involvement in Formula 1. So far all we have to go on is the head-on pic of the new car with its disguise still on, and the teaser video above.
This is the fourth-gen version of the road, race and rally favourite. It first introduced the RS initials to the Megane 2 in 2004, trying to recapture some of the zest of sporting Renault Gordini saloons of previous decades. The first RS got spoilers, strident paint colours and 225bhp of turbo power for 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds.
Stalwartly front-drive – like they all have been– the first RS also got trick front suspension to tame the torque steer. It almost worked. Over the years the RS in its many versions and guises – from famed R26.R to a dCi diesel! – played the sporting card with aplomb. Proper ingredients – Recaro seats, Brembo brakes, clever aero and always fantastic chassis tuning in both Sport and Cup forms – were RS trademarks, as you would expect of a company with its own in-house F1 team and “from racetrack to road” ethos.