WHILE most manufacturers have been focused on pleasing a wide range of customers, Renault has been busy inside its secret headquarters crafting its very own cranky assassin – the 2019 Renault Megane R.S. Cup (EDC).
You can picture the performance team snickering like a cheeky child stealing the last chocolate biscuit from the fridge. All because this thing pops and crackles so much, and is full of attitude. Just like a cheeky child, oddly.
It even looks boisterous. The body panels roll around the car in a way that will make you stare and smile at it. The black 19-inch Interlagos alloys, the R.S. designed LED headlights and the R.S. front grille all contribute to that look.
The air inlets with F1-style blades integrated in the front bumper add more spunk, and then there’s the colour. Tonic Orange. It’s captivating. It does also come in Glacier White, Pearl White, Diamond Black and Liquid Yellow though.
Unlocking the vehicle is as simple as walking up to the door and sliding into those incredibly supportive, perfect for the race track, seats. The firm thud of the door as you pull it shut, and your hands gripping the steering wheel.
Smashing that start button awakens the 1.8-litre 205kW turbo power plant. Some 390Nm of torque comes on tap, with a snap, crackle and pop, with the engine mated to a 6-speed efficient dual clutch (EDC) automatic transmission.
It’s capable of 0-100km/h in 5.8 seconds and boasts a top speed of 255km/h. The power of the engine is matched perfectly to the factory exhaust, and with its meaty roar and crackle, you’ll be encouraged to have a lot of fun while driving.
The interior features changeable lighting in the dash and centre console, which alters dependent on which drive mode you’ve engaged. It’s a cool little feature that lets you know whether you’re in angry mode or not.
The infotainment unit feels massive at 8.7-inches, although the R-Link touch screen system feels like it belongs. You might need to do some serious study to get the most out of it though, as there’s a lot of settings and variables in there.
Among them is satellite navigation, the R.S. monitor (which measures the performance of the vehicle from 40 different sensors), Bluetooth connectivity, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone support.
But it’s the interior upholstery that stands out. You feel like you’re surrounded by pure comfort, despite the fact this is a hot hatch, with R.S. leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual climate control and hands-free key-card vehicle access.
Alcantara trimmed front sports seats support you in those bendy sections of the road, and feature heating and lumbar support. The back seats are equally as good looking, with red stitching adding to the sporty look and feel.
Head and leg room back there aren’t awesome though, and a taller person may struggle to sit in the back of the Megane R.S. You will find air vents, a 12-volt outlet and some ISOFIX points back there though.
In an odd way, it kind of makes the 2019 Renault Megane R.S. (EDC) a family-oriented race car. If you need more space from the 434-litre boot though, you can lay the seats down, for some 1,247-litres of load space.
Driving this beast is something that this reviewer has wanted to do for some time now, and we have to say, it was worth the wait. The response when you hit the go fast pedal is instant and fills the soul with passion, as the exhaust pops on up shifts.
Then a bunch of corners roll around and the Megane’s 4-wheel control, which lets the rear wheels turn about one degree above 60km/h, lets you unleash, with confidence. The stiffer Cup chassis makes it even more fun as the R.S. turns street racer.
Better springs and anti-roll bars, with four hydraulic bump stops make this cranky hatch an absolute pleasure to drive around corners, allowing you to keep the gas pedal to the floor (in a completely safe environment of course).
Renault backs the R.S. Cup’s goodness too, with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, 12 month/20,000km servicing (with the first three capped at $399 each), giving you the chance to own a beautiful family friendly hatch that just happens to be a secret assassin.
It’s full of personality, has plenty of power, and will leave anyone that buys one with a huge smile on their face, possibly permanently. Yours truly might just be in love with this car (there’s a song about that right).
Our test vehicle was provided by Renault Australia. To find out more about the 2019 Renault Megane R.S. Cup (EDC), contact your local Renault dealer. Pictures courtesy of Cameron Cooke Photography.