The current king of the hot hatches, as crowned by the Nürburgring, is the Seat Leon Cupra. And Renault is none too happy about that. It did, after all, hold the Nordschleife lap record for front-drive cars for several years, first with the Mégane II-based R26.R and then with the third-gen Mégane Trophy. And now it's working on another.

Collaborating with the likes of Michelin, Akrapovic, Öhlins and BRM, Renaultsport is aiming for a sub-8-minute lap time that will – it surely hopes – unseat Seat from its position on the leaderboards, where it currently stands at 7:58.4. It hinted as much a couple of weeks ago and, after releasing a couple more teaser shots, has now revealed this video to give us an idea of what it's working on.

Aside from the center-exit Akrapovic exhaust with its carbon-fiber tip, there's not a lot to glean from the video below, but there is one thing that caught our eye: the prototype is running all four wheels on the dyno, making us wonder if it might be running all-wheel drive. Renault hasn't done all-wheel drive before with one of its hot hatches, but then it hadn't been known for turbos and DCTs before it launched the latest Clio RS, which has both.

The Mégane is based on the same platform that underpins crossovers like the Nissan Rogue, Qashqai and Renault Koleos, so it wouldn't be entirely out of the question. But if it went that route, it wouldn't be eligible for the front-drive record, putting it in the same AWD hot hatch category as the Volkswagen Golf R and Subaru WRX STI. But then we could, of course, be reading too much into the dyno footage. One way or another, we'll find out soon enough.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      Ross
      • 7 Months Ago
      Doesn't making a custom one-off tuner version of the car negate any "production car record" they get?
      ken
      • 7 Months Ago
      They should just scrap that ugly-Corolla-wanna-be Sentra and the catastrophically hideous Versa Sedan and import the Megane directly from France.
      chanonissan
      • 7 Months Ago
      I heard they are using nissan LSD, but engine not too sure if it is the same old nissan bottom half and renault top half with turbo, or it is build off the new nissan 2l DI turbo.
        Mattnz
        • 7 Months Ago
        @chanonissan
        In your haste to jump on another Megane RS article and talk about all the Nissan parts it has, you forgot to scrutinise your claims. Maybe you are getting confused with the Renault-Nissan alliance H-series engines, which are a family of four-cylinder turbocharged motors going up to a displacement of 1.6 litres, developed by both companies and powering the likes of the new Clio lll RS and Juke. The Megane RS265 uses a development of the F-4RT 2.0 engine first shown in turbo-charged form in the 2001 Renault Val Satis. This in turn was a development of the standard 2.0 FRT Renault engine which was developed before Renault purchased a 30% stake in Nissan in 1999. Renault has equipped the RS Meganes with an effective LSD system since the 2008 R26, and whether or not it is a Nissan-derived system I don't actually know - what model of performance FWD Nissan is it from?
          futurecars
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Mattnz
          here is the engine to show you that the F4R is not the same as the previous this is a complete different unit with new technology, and it is also using nissan CVTS. However the renault F4R is still different from nissan engine and it is a complete build renault aalthough the technology is shared. http://www.renault.com/en/innovation/gamme-mecanique/pages/f4r-rs.aspx. Renault have been using nissan 4X4 system also, and nissan EGR system.
          chanonissan
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Mattnz
          In my haste to jump, you need to know something about the two, why do you think I am not right renault buy some part of nissan in 1999, renault have been using nissan bottom half for along time like the 1.4 100 TCE turbo engine, that is a nissan bottom half from the nissan CR14DE use in the european nissan note/March, that is not a HR series engine nor a jointly develop engine, and it is given a renault name code H4JT,it was develop by renault and it is not use by nissan, The previous F series was not 2 Liters, you are mixing up your self the standard F4R was launched in 2001 and produce 170 Hp or 172PS, the standard nissan SR20VE was launch in 1997 and produce 190HP, the Turbo versionof the F4R appear after , also the nissan SR20VET appear after in 2001 with 280 HP http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault_F-Type_engine
          chanonissan
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Mattnz
          and to add more the 3.5L use in the megane throphy is a nissan engine, but a correction I said 100TCe but it is 130TCe
      jaka
      • 7 Months Ago
      this is Akrapovič dyno, they only have 4wd-one, so that's why its on awd dyno
      Chrysto
      • 7 Months Ago
      Very much disagree with this statement: "Renault hasn't done all-wheel drive before with one of its hot hatches, but then it hadn't been known for turbos and DCTs before it launched the latest Clio RS, which has both." Renault wasn't known for turbos? The editor must be minor. If he or she was over 21, they would know that Renault actually made it's name in Formula 1 in the 80s during the turbo era, which it later put in its production vehicles with the famous Renault 5 Turbo, the sublimely gorgeous Renault 5 Turbo 2 that followed, the Renault 21 Turbo, etc... etc...
      Fadic4
      • 7 Months Ago
      Can't wait til the type r is released
      stavers
      • 7 Months Ago
      I know it's not quite a hot "hatch" but they have dabbled with 4WD in their hot cars before. I own a Renault 21 Turbo Quadra (1992 car with 2.0T & 4WD) plus they built the Renault Safrane Bi-Turbo so they have precedence in this area. Given the size of modern cars there probably isn't much size difference between a Megane and a 21!
      chanonissan
      • 7 Months Ago
      @Mattnz I never say nissan build the engine I say renault is using their tech or parts, I will show you the old F4R and the new F4R this is the diagram of the old F4R and as you can see it has no VVT http://www.getflat.co.uk/phcdownload/upload/manuals/clio172/3200A.pdf when I told you renault is using nissan tech you tried to counter me now I will show you the new F4R/F4RT look at the renault video of the F4RT and look at the VVT now look at nissan 1.6 VVT http://www.powertrain.renault.com/our-range/powertrain-units-of-our-range/2.0-16v-tf4rt-2.0-16v-t-rsf4rt-rs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rz9t1u5F6Uo hope you see that the variable valve timing system is the same, nissan build that system which was the answer to Honda Vtec.. The only difference is renault is using timing belt and nissan is using timing chain. But the F4R is a complete build renault engine design by renault F1 team.