TG Garage

Life with TopGear’s (2019) Renault Megane R.S Cup: Update 1

This is your new longtermer, TGSA readers. You chose the spec by voting for the racier Cup chassis versus the multitasking EDC LUX version. Knew you lot would; harder, faster, manual is still TG law. And when it’s not your aching bones, or your traffic nightmare to endure why not subject TG staffers to the rawest experience available in hot hatch DNA?

A window into the minds of all TGSA readers; 72% voted for the Megane Cup Manual. In reality, sales will go the other way with the softer EDC LUX clawing into the Golf GTi’s market share.

New car day. I really mean this. I can feel the butterflies. Pen hits paper like an oblique javelin with a hurried signature, I take a few seconds to memorise HR 04 SP GP and perform  pre-check ritual with my hand flowing over its bodywork in a weirdly provocative manner. I don’t think I would have ticked this Flame Red over something like Comet Grey but I’m equally relieved that our Megane R.S is not in the zealous use of marketing-grade Tonic Orange. Love the wheels. Then scoop up my belongings from the Clio R.S. F1 I’ve just driven and instantly make the Megane appear as if I’ve habited it for the last month.

Out we go, kilometre 1235 begins, interestingly…

A short burst up and down the gears. Big smile. Sadly the guy’s facial expression next to me at the robot is not the same as mine – he looks worried. He’s frantically pointing at the front brakes and I’m pretty sure he’s mouthing the words ‘fire’ or ‘smoke.’ Certainly the latter is true, I can now see the dirty pungent air rising up over the flanks.

But this, I say in profound silent agreement with myself, is normal. Brake feel is still there and I remind myself that these are Brembos. A little cool air passing through the wheel spokes as the light changes to green will drop temps back into the green. And it does, which then spares me the embarrassing phone call back to the dealership.

The next 400 kilometres – also measured by the distance needed to drain the tank – go by without the same drama. That said, I know we’ve got a lot of layers to get through with this French enigma of downsized turbo charged engine and 4-wheel steering.  Read our international launch report of the new Megane R.S here

Frankly, the next six months with our new Megane R.S Cup will be far from boring with several of my launch-drive-opinions now put to the grindstone of time. We’ll also start a small reader discussion so if you have any questions, mail, tweet or facebook them to us and we’ll answer them in the upcoming tests. ANDREW LEOPOLD

SPECIFICATION

  • R559 099
  • 1798cc, 4cyl turbo petrol, FWD, 205kW, 390Nm
  • 7.2l/100km, 163g/km CO2
  • 0-100km/h in 5.8secs, 255km/h
  • 1429kg
  • Tester’s notes: Lots to unpack in due course as it still has the new car smell
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