SPOTTED: Five-door automatic Megane RS test mule

Official 'Ring Taxi for the Nordschleife by Jaguar RaceTaxi Nürburgring
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Ignore the GT badges on the front of this Megane, spotted testing on the Nürburgring Nordschleife this week. Instead look at the wheels, the brakes, and those bolt-on arches.

Looking from the rear, those tyres are at least a 235 size, maybe bigger.

Oh yes, that’s mostly like a test-mule for the Megane RS. A new RenaultSport machine, and (I’m told by those in the know) a strong contender for fastest-ever front-wheel-drive to ever hit the ‘Ring.

And if you consider the competition from VW’s Golf Clubsport, the Honda Civic Type-R, and (my own) Leon Cupra 280*, then you *know* the new Megane has to be GREAT. Not just good.

Of course, it’s not all chocolate and roses though. The new car appears to be following Renault’s penchant for simplification. And by that, I mean, it’s a ****ing 5-door.  Unlike the Clio, which also eliminated the 3-door bodyshell, the back doors aren’t even hidden.

The gearbox in the test-mule is a new double-clutch automatic, but it remains to be seen if RenaultSport will be able to convince the powers-that-be that a manual gearbox is still necessary in 2017. Again, looking to the new turbo Clio, it’s clear that the manual option is in danger.

What do you think? Does the new Megane need the coupe shell and manual ‘box to be a real ‘Ring legend?

 

*SEAT have been lapping a new 290, in case you were wondering, but we’ve not seen them publish a better time than the 280. Yet. And rumours are rife that there will be a Leon R soon…

 

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