Journalists were invited to the Jerez circuit in Spain to sample the car in stiffer Cup chassis-spec (which includes a limited slip differential) and with manual gearbox.
They also put the Sport chassis version through its paces on surrounding mountain roads, this time using the optional automatic EDC transmission.
Among those to get behind the wheel were specialist magazines Top Gear, Autocar, Auto Express, CAR and evo, online titles Pistonheads, Carfection and Car Throttle and national newspapers The Sun and Daily Telegraph
In Car Throttle’s video, Alex Kersten reckons that the Sport version will make the latest Mégane R.S. appeal to a bigger audience than its predecessors and that the Cup version has what it takes to reclaim the lap record for a front-wheel-drive car around the Nurburgring.
Similarly, in Carfection’s video, Henry Catchpole highlights the Sport version’s broader appeal. He also describes the car’s overall looks as “tremendous” and likens them that of a TCR touring car.
Both also delve into the detail that takes Renault Sport’s four-wheel-steering system – installed on the new Mégane – to a different level and this is something that Autocar’s Matt Saunders majors on with his online review.
Ditto the Telegraph’s Andrew English. “It’s the most convincing demonstration of the benefits of a well-calibrated rear steer system as I’ve ever come across,” he concludes.
Like his peers, Pistonhead’s Nic Cackett talks of the car’s “impish sense of fun” and predicts how mighty any later incarnations could become…
CAR’s James Taylor provides an in-depth review of the two chassis options. He also senses that the Cup, using an all-new Renault Sport-developed 1.8-litre engine, may already be a fraction quicker over a lap than its 2.0 predecessor.
There’s another very detailed review from evo’s James Disdale. In it he experiences just how good at settling the car on bumpier surfaces the Mégane’s suspension is – this is thanks to hydraulic compressions stops both front and rear. He reports: “On really big compressions you expect a sickening crash and shudder as the suspension hits the limit of its travel, yet the Mégane simply shrugs it off and continues at unabated speed.”
Nor is this lost on Auto Express’s Jonathan Burn who writes: “The hydraulic compression stops fitted to all shock absorbers allow the R.S. to absorb road undulations without any fuss. The body control is superb.”
“The Mégane RS will cover ground at such a blistering pace most supercars would struggle to shake it free from their rear-view mirrors,” enthuses Top Gear’s Jason Barlow. And that’s just the Sport chassis!
Finally, The Sun’s Rob Gill summed up both Sport and Cup versions: “They’re both 280hp with four-wheel steering, six-speed manual or auto, and look as fit as a butcher’s.”