Red Bull’s RB8 on sale in Mzansi
Renault is not doing particularly well as a car company at the moment, yet its involvement in F1 has been monumentally successful. More so, ironically, than commercially superior brands such as Mercedes and Ferrari.
So, as much as mechanically indistinguishable special edition vehicles irk us, we’ll grant Renault its moment with this new Red Bull Racing RB8 Special Edition Megane.
A marketing initiative to celebrate the Renault powered Red Bull team’s third F1 constructor’s world championship, it’s a collection of graphics and special stitching. Okay, if you want specifics: window corner Red Bull racing stickers, Recaro bucket seats, regulation RS insignia all over the cabin and a limit edition numeral on the door sill, to remind you of just how special it is each time you enter and exit going for and after a drive.
Mechanically this RB8 Megane is no different to its RS siblings: 2-litre turbomotor good for 195kW and 360Nm, a proper mechanically geared limited-slip front differential and that redoubtable Renaultsport Cup chassis and suspension set-up – which is simply the best of all current hot hatches.
If you find the traction tipping point of those Bridgestone Potenza 235/35 R19 tyres RB8 will run 0-100kph in six seconds dead before maxing out at 255kph. Of course, RB8’s greatest dynamic virtue is agility and handling: good enough for that man Vettel to choose this Renault as his hot hatch of choice…
Other important stuff? Well, they’re only bringing 50 of these RB8s to South Africa at R429 900 each, and if you are a petrolhead keen on geekery each one will have the new RS monitor and R-link system: a data display relaying torque, power, boost, throttle, brake, steering angle, lateral g-force and engine rpm.
It also computes front-wheel slippage, records lap times and drivers can modify the accelerator pedal mapping, but, we suspect, only if you get an email from Adrian Newey with some exact metrics.