The Megane has been one of Renault’s more successful models, with 7 million units sold globally since 1995. Over 4 generations, it has come to be a full range and, like the Volkswagen Golf with its GTI, has had a powerful variant in the R.S. line.
For 2020, the range includes a first for Renault in the compact segment – a plug-in hybrid powertrain. It uses technologies developed by the Alliance and the Renault Engineering Department and benefits from the electric-vehicle expertise acquired by Groupe Renault over the last 10 years, as well as its experience in Formula 1 racing.
The New Megane’s exterior design has gained sculpted and more dynamic lines in keeping with the Renault brand identity to offer even more character and sophistication. Its headlights now feature LED Pure Vision technology said to improve and increase the headlamp beam by nearly 30%, offering greater visibility, safety and driving comfort.
The headlamps, tail lights and fog lights are now all LED. The contour lines of the new rear lights have been raised to display a new trim design and the indicators have become dynamic. The New Megane also features a new, more sophisticated lower panel while the design of the wings is more pronounced, and they also feature door-handle lighting.
The revamped and modernised driver’s ‘techno cockpit’ has a new 9.3-inch screen for the multimedia system and a 10.2-inch screen for the dashboard. The 9.3-inch screen provides a display area twice the size of the 7-inch version. This vertical tablet fits perfectly into the dashboard and gives the passenger compartment a very modern look. The Renault EASY LINK multimedia system, inspired by smartphone codes and uses, aims to be more ergonomic, functional and user-friendly.
Renault’s Multi-Sense technology can change the characteristics to one of several different. The driver can choose settings that adjust the engine mapping, steering, ambient lighting and configuration of the digital display that replaces the dials to offer a personalised driving experience
Renault will continue to offer petrol and diesel engines since there will still be demand in many markets outside Europe where internal combustion engines may be preferred. The petrol engine displacement will be the Alliance 1.3 TCe which can be offered in outputs ranging from 115 bhp to 160 bhp. At the end of the year, the New Megane will also be available with the Alliance 1.0 TCe engine with a manual transmission.
The latest Megane Diesel will use a 1.5-litre Blue dCi engine adapted to new anti-pollution standards. Customers have the option of choosing the 95 bhp eco version with a 6-speed manual transmission or the 115 bhp version with a dual-clutch 7-speed automatic transmission.
The highlight is of course the new E-TECH Plug-in hybrid powertrain which combines with a 4-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol engine with two electric motors and uses an innovative multi-mode clutch-less gearbox transmission which optimises gearshifting.
The design draws on the experience of the Renault F1 Team, which shared its energy-management expertise (energy recovered during deceleration and braking is used to recharge the battery outside charging cycles) to enable the New Megane to operate with maximum energy efficiency. It is paired with a braking system developed by Renault’s electric vehicle experts.
The battery pack has an energy capacity of 9.8 kWh (400V) battery which can enable the New Megane to run on full-electric mode for up to 50 kms and up to a top speed of 85 mph (135 km/h), it is claimed.
New driver assistance systems
The New Megane’s driver-assistance systems include the Highway & Traffic Jam Companion, a Level 2 autonomous system that provides comfort and peace of mind while driving. Level 2 autonomous capability has adaptive cruise control (which can vary the speed to maintain a safe gap as well as operate from standstill) and lane-centering or lane-keeping control. It’s available in many cars today and can make driving easier but the driver still needs to pay attention to what is happening.
The New Megane R.S.
The high-performance New Megane R.S. adopts a range centred on the Sport chassis and the same single 300 bhp 1.8-litre turbocharged direct-injection engine as the TROPHY version. Torque has been increased by 30 Nm to 420 Nm on EDC transmission models and 400 Nm on manual transmission models. The exhaust system now includes a mechanical valve to adjust the ‘soundtrack’.
The hallmark features of the Megane R.S are still present, including the 4CONTROL frame for maximum agility in sharp turns and stability in fast curves, and a new R.S. Monitor (optional) which displays many car settings in real time, such as acceleration, braking, steering-wheel angle, 4CONTROL system operation, temperatures and pressures, etc.
The New Megane R.S. TROPHY, a benchmark for ultra-high-performance hatchbacks, is designed for racing. It stands out for its now-exclusive Cup frame; compared with the New Megane R.S.’s Sport chassis, the chassis Cup features a mechanical Torsen limited-slip differential which improves cornering control and driveability when exiting corners. Its shock absorbers and suspension springs have been retuned for increases of 25% and 30% respectively, and the anti-roll bar has a 10% higher setting than on Megane R.S.