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Renault Megane R.S. 2021: hot hatch range shrinks from three to one in Australia

John Law

Always a fan favourite, Renault has made some small changes to the 2021 Megane R.S. hot hatch by adding technology and simplifying the line-up.

After axing the regular Megane range, the high performance R.S. variant became the only passenger vehicle sold by Renault in Australia, and from 2021 the Renault Megane R.S. will only be available in one trim level.

Initially offered in three flavours in Australia including Sport, Cup and Trophy, the R.S. will now only be sold in the most costly Trophy grade.

Reanult Megane R.S. 2021 Front
The Megane R.S. is the only French hot hatch Australians can buy new right now.

The Megane R.S. Trophy will start from $53,990 before on-road costs, meaning the 2021 update brings with it a modest $500 price increase.

That keeps the Megane R.S. at the pointy end of the hot hatch segment in Australia, competing against the Honda Civic Type R and the new kid on the block, the forthcoming BMW 128ti.

As for why the Megane R.S. range has shrunk to just the Trophy, Renault Australia managing director Anouk Poelmann said: “The Trophy has clearly established its territory as the weapon of choice for Renault hot hatch fans”.

A bright, warm colour palette is typical of Renault and sets the Megane R.S. apart from rivals.

Outside, the Megane R.S. retains its handsome, butch exterior appearance accentuated by the bright colour palette typical of Renault Sport products.

Under the bonnet, the Trophy continues to benefit from a more potent tune of the 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Outputs remain at 221kW of power and 420Nm of torque, where the Cup and Sport made 206kW/390Nm.

The choice between a six-speed manual gearbox and six-speed dual-clutch remains, with the self-shifting transmission adding $3,000 to the Megane’s price.

Reanult Megane R.S. 2021 Rims
The Trophy is fitted with 19-inch alloy wheels as standard.

As before, the Trophy is fitted with a more focused suspension tune shared with the Cup model. Trick hydraulic bump stops feature on a passive damper set-up where competitors like the Hyundai i30 N employ adaptive suspension.

The Trophy also benefits from some weight-saving measures including lighter 19-inch alloy wheels, lithium-ion battery and lighter active exhaust. These would all be reasons to choose the Trophy over the cup, were the option still there.

Inside, some tweaks have been made to the technology with the digital driver’s display growing in size from seven to ten inches. The Renault EasyLink infotainment system now runs through a 9.3-inch portrait touchscreen instead of an 8.7-inch item.

Reanult Megane R.S. 2021 Cabin
Cabin technology has improved a little for 2021, too.

Navigation is standard, as is DAB radio and wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.

To get the must-have Alcantara-clad Recaro bucket seats, buyers will need to tick the ‘performance package’ option box that swaps on a set of ‘Fuji’ alloy wheels as well. A panoramic sunroof remains optional.

Safety equipment is fair and has been bolstered by the inclusion of city-speed AEB. Adaptive cruise control remains, as does a lane-departure warning system and blind-spot monitoring.

Reanult Megane R.S. 2021 Chair
The beautiful Recaro bucket seats are a must-have option in any Renault Sport product.

Renault will begin deliveries of the 2021 Megane R.S. in March this year.

Renault Megane 2021: pricing in Australia

All prices listed exclude on-road costs.

  • Renault Megane R.S. Trophy Manual – $53,990
  • Renault Megane R.S. Trophy Auto – $56,990