Mégane F1 Team R26 on The Front Row
Renault has taken advantage of the 2006 Paris Show to introduce the Mégane F1 Team R26 to the European market. Derived from Mégane Renault Sport Cup, the latest version features a limited slip differential for even crisper handling whether driven on open roads or round a circuit. Its 2.0 T engine, "Cup" chassis and Brembo brakes make it one of the highest performance hot hatches on the market.
Building on the success enjoyed by Mégane F1 Team since its launch in January 2006, Renault continues in the same spirit with the introduction of Mégane F1 Team R26, the name of which refers, of course, to Renault's challenger in this year's Formula 1 World Championship standings. Developed by Renault Sport Technologies, Mégane F1 Team R26 is the sportiest version of the Mégane Renault Sport range.
Mégane F1 Team R26's most striking feature is to be found under its bonnet, namely its evolution 2.0 16-valve turbocharged engine which delivers 169 kW at 5,500 rpm and boasts peak torque of 310 Nm at 3,000 rpm thanks to specific engine mapping and a modified exhaust. With 90 per cent of peak torque available from 2,000 to 6,000 rpm, this engine provides instant response and ultra-smooth acceleration.
The six-speed manual gearbox enables all this potential to be exploited to the full and helps take the car from standstill to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds, while the 1,000-metre standing start is covered in just 26.6 seconds. Mégane F1 Team R26 also offers class-topping fuel efficiency for its power output, with combined cycle fuel consumption of 8.5 litres/100 kms. And as is the case with Clio Renault Sport (199 g/km), CO2 emissions do not exceed 200 g/km. Finally, work on the exhaust system guarantees a characteristically sporty bark from the engine.
Mégane F1 Team R26's other main strength is its chassis which features independent steering-axis front suspension and a programmed-deflection flexible rear beam. Mégane F1 Team is delivered as standard with the "Cup" chassis. This chassis employs 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. All these evolutions combine to provide first class road holding.
Now equipped with a limited slip differential, Mégane F1 Team R26 has never been so close to being a genuine competition car. The limited slip differential guarantees impeccable traction performance irrespective of driving style or type of corner and however much grip is available.
Limited slip differentials are a common feature of competition cars, both in rallying and in Formula 1, although they can call for a certain degree of driving skill as a result of the torque steer that can be transmitted via the steering wheel in some situations.
In the case of Mégane F1 Team R26, however, the combination of a limited slip differential and independent steering-axis front suspension not only minimises this phenomenon but also permits the driver to benefit from the extra traction. Following the switch to a tube-in-tube steering column in April 2004, the electric power steering control unit of the Mégane Renault Sport family was recently recalibrated with a view to guaranteeing a more linear feel for added steering precision.
Sports performance of this standard calls for brakes that boast both bite and endurance, and 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 which is compounded by the work of the 11-inch servo which generates a maximum pressure within the circuit of 115 bar. Mégane F1 Team R26 is equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tyres (235/40 R18).
Mégane F1 Team R26 is distinguishable from other Mégane Renault Sport models
thanks to specific markings on the bumpers, doors and roof (optional but free of
charge) and its red-painted brake callipers. It is equipped as standard with the
"Cup" chassis and comes with "Anthracite" 18-inch alloy wheels which echo the
colour of the exterior mirrors. Inside, an F1-style numbered plaque reinforces Mégane F1 Team R26's
exclusivity. Recaro bucket seats, which guarantee an optimal driving position,
are standard and enable the driver and passenger to feel more at one with the
car to edge Mégane F1 Team R26 even closer to the world of motor sport.
Mégane F1 Team R26 is distinguishable from other Mégane Renault Sport models thanks to specific markings on the bumpers, doors and roof (optional but free of charge) and its red-painted brake callipers. It is equipped as standard with the "Cup" chassis and comes with "Anthracite" 18-inch alloy wheels which echo the colour of the exterior mirrors.
Inside, an F1-style numbered plaque reinforces Mégane F1 Team R26's exclusivity. Recaro bucket seats, which guarantee an optimal driving position, are standard and enable the driver and passenger to feel more at one with the car to edge Mégane F1 Team R26 even closer to the world of motor sport.
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