Mégane R.S. 280 sees off rivals in Fifth Gear test

In one of the most influential track tests yet, pro racing drivers Jason Plato and Karun Chandok have given the new Mégane R.S. the nod over three of its main hot hatch rivals on their TV motoring show Fifth Gear
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The pair took the Mégane R.S. 280 to the demanding Anglesey circuit where they pitched it against Honda’s Civic Type-R, Audi’s S2 Sportback Quattro and SEAT’s Cupra R.

This was done via three tests:

  • Agility
  • Cornering pace
  • Lap speed 

Agility was assessed on a slalom/autotest type course which included a tight roundabout and reverse manoeuvre. Touring Car legend Plato drove with Chandok his wide-eyed passenger…

The Mégane’s four-wheel-steering system (4Control) enabled it to complete the course in 39.8 seconds – almost a full second faster than anything else and two quicker than the Cupra which was eliminated. 

Plato then stood at the apex of a corner and recorded each car’s speed through it, ex-Formula 1 racer Chandok this time doing the driving. The Mégane R.S. 280 and Civic were equally matched at 81mph with the Audi some 5mph behind and therefore out of the contest.

It all came down to a head to head ‘race’ around the Anglesey track, with Chandok behind the wheel of the Mégane R.S. 280 up against Plato in the Civic.

Chandok came out on top by around one second after using the Mégane R.S 280’s better manoeuvrability to draw alongside and pass the Civic.

Plato and Chandok admitted though it was a close call between the 280hp Mégane R.S 280 and the slightly more powerful Civic.

“They do similar lap times but in a different way,” reflected Plato, adding: “That (the Mégane) looks more agile, less understeer, more nimble…”

He then declared: “The Mégane R.S. 280 wins by a sniff!” And then rounded out by saying: “In fact the he Mégane has seen off three of its closest competitors. Right now, it’s the one to beat.”