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Goodbye Renault Sport

With the unveiling of the new Megane RS Ultime, Renault is closing the doors of its iconic Renault Sport high-performance subsidiary.

“Megane RS Ultime is the last Megane RS series and the last model to feature the Renault Sport logo,” said the French manufacturer.

“Alpine, Renault Group’s sports car brand will write the next chapters in this story.”

Based on the Megane RS Trophy, the Ultime takes performance, looks, and equipment to the next level and only 1,976 examples of the hot hatch will be built, acknowledging the year in which the Renault Sport department was founded, 1976.

Renault Sport’s swan song

As the final model in the Renault Sport lineage, the Megane RS Ultime incorporates the department’s most memorable design hallmarks, notably the double-diamond graphics inspired by the automaker’s badge.

These stripes are placed on the roof, bonnet, rear bumper, and door fenders, and they are only offered in matte black “to harmonise with the four available body colours,” said Renault.

“The Star Black striping blends in elegantly, the Pearl White has a striking visual effect, the Sirius Yellow brings back Renault Sport’s iconic colours, and Tonic Orange creates powerful contrast.”

Moreover, fans with a keen eye will spot the letters 1976 discretely inscribed on the right-side striping as another nod back to the birth of the performance department.

Extensive tweaks to the Ultime’s bodywork continue the model-exclusive enhancements, the hot hatch boasting 60mm-wider front and 45mm-wider rear fenders, as well as side vents, RS Vision headlamps, a central exhaust, a spoiler, and a rear diffuser.

The finer details are also painted in black with a gradient effect, including the logos, door handles, window frames, wheels, fender caps, rear diffuser, and the “Formula 1 blade” on the front bumper – which also features an Ultime monogram.

Once inside, the flagship Megane received Recaro bucket seats wrapped in Alcantara, model-unique door sills, and a numbered metal plaque near the transmission that is signed by Laurent Hurgon, the driver and development expert who worked on Megane RS throughout its career and currently holds the Nürburgring, Suzuka, and Spa-Francorchamps records.

Creature comforts are plentiful, too, with keyless entry and start, a 9.3-inch infotainment system, a Bose hi-fi, a 10-inch digital driver’s display, the RS Monitor on-board telemetry programme, adaptive cruise control, and 360-degree manoeuvring aids being standard.

With the same 1.8-litre, turbo-petrol powerplant as the Megane RS Trophy, the Ultime generates 221kW and 420Nm and drives the front wheels only via an “EDC” automatic gearbox with 100km/h claimed in 5.7 seconds.

It’s then enhanced with a lowered “Cup” chassis, hydraulic compression stops, four-wheel steering, Brembo dual-cast brakes, and 19-inch wheels covered in Bridgestone Potenza S007 semi-slicks.

The local arm of Renault has confirmed that the new Megane will be offered in South Africa, however, it did not clarify how many units are earmarked for our market.

Renault Megane RS Ultime

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