Next Renault Megane RS hot hatch coming in 2017

Next Renault Megane RS hot hatch coming in 2017

The all-new 2016 Megane was introduced earlier this week at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but Renault has announced that the next generation of the Megane RS hot hatch isn’t scheduled to arrive until the first half of 2017 at the very earliest.

The next Megane RS is shaping up to be equal parts evolution and revolution. For starters, Renault design boss Laurens van den Acker confirmed the next RS will exclusively be available as a four-door hatchback, a first in the nameplate’s history, because the two-door coupe model has been deep-sixed.

“On one hand we need to increase our line-up with new crossovers because we didn’t have any crossovers, we need to expand into trucks, we need to keep present in the normal segments and in the meantime we need to not finish with 60 variations and just keep adding. So we had to cut some variants somewhere,” explained van den Acker in an interview with Australian website Motoring.

Technical details are still a little vague but another Renault executive hinted that the new model will likely need to pack over 300 horsepower — 25 more than the current model — in order to keep up with the competition, notably the Volkswagen Golf R and the Honda Civic Type R. The RS won’t get a hybrid drivetrain, though RenaultSport openly admits it will have to adopt a gasoline-electric setup in the not-too-distant future to comply with upcoming emissions regulations.

Purists will scoff at the idea of a four-door RS, but they’ll at least be satisfied to hear that the next-gen model will most likely retain the current car’s manual transmission. However, all-wheel drive has been categorically ruled out for the time being, meaning the 300 ponies will all be sent to the front wheels.

The 2017 Renault Megane RS will be presented to the public either next year at the Paris Motor Show or the following spring at the Geneva Motor Show.

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