The new Renault Megane RS hatch will be revealed in September and could use tuned Alpine turbo
One of the most important and eagerly anticipated hot hatch arrivals in 2017 is the next-generation Renaultsport Megane, which will make its global debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
Work on the Megane RS – previewed by our exclusive main image – started in tandem with the standard hatch in a bid to maximise development time. It will follow the Hyundai i30 N and Honda Civic Type R to the market, but more than match them when it comes to performance.
It’s possible that Renaultsport could pluck the new 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbo from the Alpine A110 as a replacement for the existing 2.0-litre turbo in the Megane RS. The new motor develops 249bhp and 320Nm of torque in the Alpine, but Renaultsport boss Patrice Ratti has previously touted a figure of around 300bhp for the fast Megane.
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The hatch will also remain front-wheel drive, so an attempt to reclaim the lap record for a front-driven car – currently held by the latest Civic Type R – at Germany’s Nürburgring race track will also be made. Another new addition will be the EDC dual-clutch automatic gearbox from the Clio RS. Ratti told us that this is designed to satisfy markets such as Japan and Australia; a six-speed manual box will be offered in the UK.
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To boost agility on the road, a rear-wheel-steering system should also feature on the Megane RS. A similar set-up already exists on the Megane GT – currently the hottest model in the range – and is designed to boost mobility at low speed and stability at high speed.
Prototypes spotted undergoing development testing have also revealed a beefier braking system and lowered ride thanks to a new suspension set-up. Adjustable dampers should appear, too.
Our image gives you an indication of what the production version will look like when the covers come off in September. Stripped-out Trophy and Trophy R models will follow.
Other hot hatches arriving in 2017
Suzuki Swift Sport
Price: £14,000 (est)
Engine: 1.4 4cyl turbo
Suzuki’s new Swift Sport will be one of the later hot hatch arrivals this year, but big things are expected from the eagerly awaited Japanese pocket rocket.
Based on Suzuki’s new lightweight platform, the Swift Sport will be powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine developing upwards of 140bhp. Its lightweight construction means it should weigh no more than 900kg, making it good for 0-62mph in around eight seconds.
Honda Civic Type R
Engine: 2.0 4cyl turbo
Once again the fastest front-wheel-drive car to lap the Nürburgring, the Honda Civic Type R carries forward its brutish looks and searing performance for another generation.
The car is completely new from the ground up – a new 2.0-litre VTEC turbo now develops 316bhp and 400Nm of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox is the only transmission available.
Ford Fiesta ST
Price: £19,000 (est)
Engine: 1.5 3cyl turbo
We didn’t have to wait long before Ford unveiled the new Fiesta ST. Just four months after the all-new eighth-generation hatch landed, the ST was rolled out at March’s Geneva Motor Show with big changes.
A new 197bhp 1.5-litre 3cyl turbo replaces the outgoing 1.6-litre 4cyl, while cylinder shutdown tech helps cut CO2 emissions from 138g/km to 114g/km. The chassis has also been tuned by Ford Performance.
Toyota Yaris GRMN
Price: £21,000 (est)
Engine: 1.8 4cyl supercharged
Toyota’s first hot hatch for more than a decade, the Yaris GRMN (Gazoo Racing Masters of Nürburgring), is being taken extremely seriously by the Japanese brand; the man responsible for the GT86 coupé is overseeing development of the car.
It’s powered by a new 1.8-litre supercharged engine and should be capable of 0-62mph in around six seconds. A mechanical limited-slip diff is also fitted.
What do you think of the next Renault Megane RS? Let us know in the comments section below…