Renault Wants the Next Megane RS to Go Hybrid

Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy-R 1 photo
Photo: Renault
The problem with every affordable performance car these days is that owners simply can't live with the fuel bills. Even driving normally though traffic in the morning, a sportscar with a 2-liter engine will drink fuel at an alarming rate.
That's why some ill-fated sportscars have been killed off and others have been given a lesser role to play. One solution which everybody seems to be stumbling upon is to switch to hybrid technology. Mitsubishi has been planning to do that with the successor to the Evo, while Porsche is going to add the tech from 919 Le Mons racer to the 911 in a couple of years.

Weirdly enough, French carmaker Renault seems to be planning to do the same thing to the Megane RS, the next-generation model that is. Citing insider sources, Top Gear UK has published a story that suggest the future is very green for the Renaultsport people.

It all has to do with their entrance into the new Formula E racing series, which exclusively uses electric cars. The insider did not reveal a launch date for such a car, but suggested hot hatch development is not a priority for the company and that the next generation Megane RS is a long way off.

"I could see it happening in the future," the Renault insider says. "Look at Formula E - all the vehicles are from Renaultsport. So I can certainly see RS hybrids in the future. Why not?"

Are there any other hybrid hot hatches?

Well, yes there are. Volkswagen, Europe's largest carmaker by volume, just launched the Golf GTE, which they say is the GTI of the future. Its power comes from a combination of 150 HP 1.4-liter turbo and electric motor, which combined deliver 204 hp. That's nowhere near the output of a Megane RS 275 Trophy, but the Golf balances performance with economy quite well.

Because the 8.7 kWh battery can be charged from external sources, the Golf GTE claims to run for up to 50 km (31 miles) on battery power alone and does 1.5 l/100km.
Straight-line performance is good, with 0 to 100 km/h sprints taking 7.6 seconds, but the total vehicle weight of 1.6 tons means this isn't a track car by any means. It's also very expensive, costing €37,000 in Germany, around €8,000 more than a regular GTI.

Audi has the exact same powertrain installed in the A3 e-tron and we believe there are plans to launch similar versions of the SEAT Leon and Skoda Octavia.

Get the torches and pitchforks!

We're really can't say that we're not a little disappointed with Renault. They used to make the most engaging hot hatches, but the last Clio RS has proven itself a dishonest car and now they want to pull a Mitsubishi on us.

Nissan, who hasn't made a hot hatch in a decade, plans to launch the Pulsar Nismo with a 270 hp 1.8-liter turbo. There are also ways to make larger turbo engines run more efficiently. The Golf GTI has a combined rating of 6 l/100km, which we think any buyer can live with.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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