With a distinctive shape, superb chassis, and powerful engine, the Renaultsport Megane range is a top tuner’s car
The general suspension and chassis design on these cars is superb, but R26-R aside, they’re a little soft for ultimate grip and handling. The solution is simple in the form of a full coilover suspension kit. Most of the top suspension manufacturers already have kits available, so it’s an easy upgrade. The standard brakes are pretty good, but big brake kits are already available and are a wise move for tuned and track-used cars.
The 2.0ltr turbo engine found in all models comes with over 220bhp as standard and, with a simple exhaust, intercooler, induction kit and remapped ECU, gives the car a healthy 280bhp and similar amounts of torque. With a hybrid turbo and larger injectors, well over 300bhp and 350 lb/ft of torque has been achieved on standard internals, and while the limits have yet to be pushed on this engine, we suspect big power will be easily achievable if you wish.
The standard 6-speed gearbox is a great bit of kit, but unless you own the R26 or R26-R models, you’re missing one thing that transforms the drive on these cars: a limited slip diff. Luckily, diffs are available and are one of the first purchases we would make. The standard clutch seems to stand up to well over 300bhp, but we understand uprated clutch and flywheel combos are currently in development for big power engines.
4. WHEELS AND TYRES
The standard wheels are a good size and can actually accommodate even 235 tyres with no problems, but nicer looking wheels and much grippier tyres are always a wise move. Part of the R26-R’s legendary grip was down to the Toyo R888 semi-slick tyres fitted to the car and, while this had 225 versions, you can fit even wider if you wish. Lightweight motorsport style wheels are the preferred choice as an upgrade, and 8x18s are the ideal size.
Although the Recaro sports seats in many models are great, one drive of an R26-R demonstrates the massive advantage of racing bucket seats. The way they hold you in place when cornering is truly fantastic, especially when combined with racing harnesses. The R26-R is 123kg lighter than the standard Renaultsport Meganes, which is partly down to its lack of interior. If you don’t mind losing the rear seats and trim, there’s a fair bit of weight to be removed there and, just like in the R26-R, you can take out all the heavy under-floor sound deadening, then just refit the carpet for a great stealth weight saving.