Launched 10 years ago, the Megane 250 is still capable of demolishing back roads – Direnza looks back on Renaultsport’s hot coupe
The third generation RS Megane had an enormous reputation to live up to when it arrived in autumn 2009. Its predecessor had just bowed out to rapturous applause in R26.R form, and that track focused machine – complete with a plastic rear window – had really cemented Renaultsport’s status as master of its craft.
Out was the Megane II’s big booty and uncompromising character, and in was a more attractive coupe shape and generally more comfortable ride quality. There was still a four-cylinder turbo under the bonnet, but never before had a Renaultsport model appeared this… mature.
And yet, the 250 was still very much a product of Dieppe – that small fishing port on the northern coast of France, which Renaultsport calls home. So it still had an almost supernatural ability to dismantle a B-road, and sported all the usual RS garnish including beefy bodywork upgrades and racy appointments within.
Under the skin
The Megane 250 benefited from the technical advances of the hard core R26.R, including its ‘PerfoHub’ independent steering axis front suspension, and rear torsion beam.
Like its R26 predecessor, the 250 was offered with standard Sport and optional Cup suspension, the latter bringing a limited-slip differential by GKN Driveline, plus stiffer and thicker anti roll bars, and uprated springs.
Wheel size for both chassis was 18-inch as standard, with 19s on the extras list. These housed 290mm-diameter brake discs – grooved for enhanced dissipation of heat in the case of the Cup model.
The Megane’s engine was a two-litre, four-cylinder turbo (16V), internally named ‘F4Rt’ and linked to a six-speed manual gearbox.
The motor’s maximum 250bhp arrived at 5,500rpm, with 251lb ft torque on tap at 3,000rpm. That meant zero to 62mph in 6.1 seconds, and you could hit 156mph flat out.
Compared with the R26 engine, the 250 powerplant boasted enhanced response at low revs, continuously variable intake valve timing, and revised fuel-injection mapping. The result was 80 per cent of torque available at just 1,900rpm.
The Renaultsport Megane 250 earned several awards from the motoring press for its sheer all-round capability. And it laid the foundations for even faster versions with greater track focus, including the RS Trophy, RS 265, 275 Trophy and Trophy-R.
A fantastic used buy
These days, you can buy an 80,000-mile Megane 250 for around £6,000. That’s staggering value for money when you consider the car’s potential.
Just make sure yours comes with optional Recaro seats, has had a cambelt change when required, and doesn’t have overly worn brake discs and pads, as these are expensive to replace.
We’d avoid the 19-inch rims when possible because, although they look great, they can affect ride comfort. When it comes to the RS Megane, you should be prioritising compliancy over aesthetics, especially if you plan to take the car on a track day.
Images: Renault Press