Renaultsport Megane 230 F1 R26
Ok so it’s got a very silly, Twitter unfriendly name, but is probably the best way to get the kids to school if they’re late. A hot hatch force to be reckoned with.
The Renaultsport Meagane 225 was introduced in 2004 to an eager press who were at first critical of it’s slightly dissapointing soft ride and rather un-involving chassis. Renault responded soon after with the introduction of the Trophy, a limited edition version that included upgraded chassis brake and steering. Firmer suspension and weightier steering gave the Trophy and it’s slightly cheaper, less well equipped brother the Cup back it’s’ mojo and confirmed Renaultsports genius as makers of exciting, driver focused hot hatches once more.
Fast forward to 2006 when the 230 F1 R26 is launched, celebrating Renaults continued involvement with the champoinship winning F1 car. More tweaks to the suspension and a better sounding exhaust were made, a bit more horsepower extracted from the 2 litre turbocharged engine but the big change was the Limited Slip Differential which took the car to the next level both on the road and the track.
2009 and the final version of the generation 2 Renaultsport Megane is the R26.R. Based on the 230 R26, the R26.R (another imaginative name) has the same power (227bhp) but sheds 123kg of weight by the removal of the back seats, passenger and curtain airbags, climate control, rear wash/wipe, heated rear window, front fogs, headlamp washers, radio/CD player and most of the soundproofing. The steel bonnet is replaced with carbon fibre, rear windows are replaced with lightweight polycarbonate ones, lightweight carbon fibre shelled Sabelt seats replace standard ones.
An optional roll cage is among the new parts along with new suspension and brake discs.
The R26.R is the ultimate expression of the Hot Hatch and only 450 cars are made with 230 imported to the UK.