Renault at the 2007 Melbourne Motor Show
7th March, 2007
Built to celebrate dual 2006 F1 World Championships, the latest Renaultsport Mégane hatch is also the most exciting yet. Available in a special “Victory Yellow’ exterior, with a slight increase in power, unique suspension settings and a limited-slip differential the new R26 is an enthusiasts dream.
“The R26 is a wonderful, road-going example of the benefits of our motor sport programme,” says Renault Managing Director, Rudi Koenig.
“There are some great hot hatches available at the moment, but there’s only one with a F1 World Championship badge on it.”
Derived from Mégane Renaultsport 225 three-door, the new R26 was designed by the engineers at Renaultsport, the Renault subsidiary where all the motor sport and performance road cars are developed. The result is the most potent and driver-focused Mégane yet.
Its two-litre turbo engine, uprated by a further 3 kW to 168 kW, plus a development of the revised "Cup" chassis and Brembo brakes make it one of the quickest hot hatches on the market, its distinctive lines reinforce its positioning as a true performance car. The R26 also features a limited slip differential to keep the engine power channelled to the road even in slippery conditions.
Chassis, engine and steering engineered for the ultimate driving
A new sports-exhaust system guarantees a sporty rasp from the engine, particularly at low speed and during hard acceleration.
The R26's other main strength is its chassis which features a development of the "Cup" chassis which is optional on the Mégane Renaultsport 225, but modified still further with specific dampers and stiffer springs, while damper travel has been slightly increased by reducing the size of the bump stops to optimise handling on poor surfaces. The new diameter front anti-roll bar and rear suspension layout ensure stiffer anti-roll characteristics for enhanced handling under cornering.
Limited slip differential
Among the various devices on the market today, Renault Sport Technologies chose a mechanical differential with helical teeth, where the satellite and sun gears have parallel axes. The limited slip function is obtained through mechanical efficiency of the system. During the slippage phases, the internal architecture of the differential generates friction on the various surfaces of the sun gears, transmitting part of the engine torque to the wheel with the greatest grip.
Performance of this calibre calls for brakes that boast both bite and endurance, so Mégane F1 Team R26's uprated brake system – which features Brembo four-pot front callipers and vented 312 mm diameter discs – provides outstanding stopping power, enhanced further by the work of the 11-inch servo which generates a maximum pressure within the circuit of 115 bar. Due to the new limited slip differential, in place of the previous Dunlop SportMaxx tyres, Mégane F1 Team R26 is equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tyres (235/40 R18).
Sporting style – inside and out
Inside, an F1-style numbered plaque reinforces Mégane F1 Team R26's exclusivity.
As well as being the most comprehensively specified Mégane road car from a technical perspective, the R26 comes with a matching level of equipment: de-connectable ESP, xenon headlamps, automatic headlamps and wipers climate control, cruise control with speed limiter and electric windows with driver’s one touch controls.
The new Mégane Renaultsport 230 R26 is expected to go on sale by mid-2007 and will be available in Victory Yellow or Deep Black. Australia has been allocated just 80 vehicles of the global production run.
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