Mégane Phase II: Safety for All
NEWS ON RADIO
Renault Megane sedan
on this page,
4th July, 2006
Renault has released the latest generation of its Mégane range in a choice of three body types - Hatch, Sedan and Coupé-Cabriolet, plus the high performance Mégane Renault Sport versions - all of which feature a distinctive, individual personality and an increased level of safety equipment.
While maintaining the original style of the Mégane, the latest generation is even more eye-catching. The updated exterior design features modern, tapered headlamps, a revised grille and bumpers, translucent rear lights and new wheels and wheel trims. Inside, the revisions provide a more refined, bright interior, with new trims and subtle changes to enhance useability.
The Mégane Phase II range sees the introduction of a number of new technological functions, including electronic stability programme (ESP) with understeer control, automatic roll-hoops on the Coupé-Cabriolet and rear parking proximity sensors on selected models.
When it comes to safety, the Mégane stands out as the benchmark. Its driver aids ensure control of the vehicle and help correct the vehicle’s trajectory in emergency situations. Its passive safety performance is remarkable - the original Hatch and Coupé-Cabriolet versions were the first vehicles of their respective categories to obtain a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.
All body types are available with a 98 kilowatt 2.0-litre engine which is engineered to offer excellent low-range torque. While the entry-level hatch comes with an 82 kilowatt 1.6-litre engine. Renault Sport models use one high performance turbocharged 2.0-litre engine producing 165 kilowatts and a maximum torque of 300Nm.
Renault has reduced the complexity of the range and improved specification levels across the model line-up. From the original Mégane line-up of 24 variants, the range has been reduced to just 12. The Mégane range now includes four Hatch, two Coupé-Cabriolet, three Sedan and three Renault Sport variants.
According to Renault’s managing director, Rudi Koenig, the “safety for all“ programme, brings to Renault’s Australian Mégane range the benchmark safety expertise for which Renault is world-renowned.
“Our aim is to offer the benefits of Renault’s extensive research and development in safety.
“The Mégane range has always had a comprehensive level of standard safety equipment but with the addition of ESP, we are providing customers with a more comprehensive active and passive safety package.
“Research by Renault has shown, the benefits of ESP are substantial, with an estimated 35% reduction in single vehicle accidents attributed to the fitment of ESP,” said Mr Koenig.
Design and Comfort: Refined Appeal
With its strong personality and assertive character, the Mégane’s appealing, innovative lines have evolved to feature an even more eye-catching frontal styling and a more modern design for the rear. Mégane also comes with a range of new technologies aimed at enhancing comfort and driving pleasure.
The more refined, dynamic design of Mégane is aimed at establishing it as the benchmark in its segment. Its racy front end and muscular, robust lines exude an impression of strength and dynamism which is underpinned by the new design of the headlamps, grille and front bumper.
The headlamps have a more high-tech look thanks to their new elliptical modules, highlighting the Mégane’s revised frontal styling which is further accentuated by the more pronounced “V” of the grille which tops the redesigned front bumper. The bigger air-intake and its protective housing have been re-penned to blend in even more harmoniously with the new front design. The fog lamps are now located further towards the outside of the car, as on Mégane Renault Sport, which emphasises the model’s sporty and robust design.
At the rear, the now translucent light clusters are the new lighting hallmark of the Mégane Hatch and Mégane Renault Sport, with parallel horizontal lines underlining the car’s dynamic, modern looks. The styling of the rear lights of the sedan version has also evolved.
The design of the Mégane Renault Sport’s new grille accentuates the dynamic character of this model.
The ergonomic design remains a benchmark across the Mégane range: all the instruments are grouped together in front of the driver, while the intuitively positioned controls are within easy reach. The visual harmony of the interior design is improved by the use of “soft” materials such as on the dashboard cowling. For easy reading, the dials are backlit with white light, while the red needles themselves are thinner. Mégane Renault Sport models now have red stitching on the steering wheel.
The quality and refinement of the different interior trim levels has been enhanced by the use of satin-finish chrome on the climate control display frame and steering wheel insert.
Renault’s engineers have equipped the Mégane with a number of new functions aimed at making life onboard both easier and more pleasurable. Now available as standard on Coupe-Cabriolet and Privilege sedan models, the rear parking proximity sensors facilitate manoeuvering and reduce the risk of collision with obstacles situated behind the vehicle. The system can be deactivated with a switch located on the centre console.
All models are equipped with improved rain and light sensors. The new rain sensor means the driver no longer needs to re-prime the automatic front wipers when the car is started. New smart and more effective flat blade wipers have also been fitted.
To ensure cleaner cabin air, all Méganes come with an active carbon cabin air filter as standard. This filter prevents particles and smells from entering the cabin. The air-conditioning system has also been re-calibrated with a view to improving both its stability and start-up efficiency (colder more quickly), while at the same time ensuring low fan noise.
The Mégane features the same comfort-enhancing innovations that contributed to the success of the previous generation Mégane, namely vast storage space (including in the floor and side armrests), an aviation-style handbrake which frees up space for storage underneath the central armrest, a built-in fuel filler cap and the Coupé-Cabriolet version’s glass roof.
Engines and Suspension: Power and Dynamism
As in the previous generation two normally aspirated petrol engines are available in the Mégane range: a 1.6-litre available in the Mégane Authentique hatch and a 2.0-litre in all other models. The Mégane Renault Sport models come with a high performance turbo-charged 2.0-litre engine, which is noted for its prodigious torque output across the rev range.
1.6 16V 110hp 82kW: Fuel-efficient and agile
2.0 16V 98kW: Dynamic and powerful
2.0 Turbo 16V 225 (165kW): High performance
The Mégane’s performance lives up to the promise of its looks. Renowned for outstanding road holding, it is built on a chassis that combines comfort, pleasure and control.
Its suspension* has been developed to combine directional control and a high capacity to filter out both vibrations and noise. The MacPherson-type front suspension and rectangular lower arm ensure a high level of transverse stiffness with a view to optimising road holding and comfort. The rear suspension features a programmed-deflection torsion beam with coil springs, plus an anti-roll bar for optimal control of body roll.
According to body type, a range of wheel sizes is available: 15-, 16- and 17-inches, plus 18-inch wheels for five-door Mégane Renault Sport models. The capacity of the braking system has been designed with a view to combining maximum efficiency and a sensation of bite and power.
The Mégane is equipped with electric power steering, the precision of which has been uprated thanks to a “tube-in-tube” link, which ensures better feedback of information from the road to the driver. This system permits the filtering out of roadgenerated vibrations and impeccable steering precision thanks to a sliding link between the two steering column shafts.
* Mégane Renault Sport features specific suspension (double axis strut suspension) and Brembo front brake callipers and discs for powerful, efficient and lasting stopping power.
The Active and Passive Safety Benchmark
New Mégane is a further illustration of Renault’s excellence in safety. Its driver aids ensure optimal control of the vehicle and help correct the vehicle’s trajectory in emergency situations. The standard of passive safety is also remarkable, and the Hatch and Coupé-Cabriolet versions were the first cars in their respective categories to obtain a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.
The Mégane comes with a long list of driver aids which assist the driver to keep control of the vehicle in an emergency situation. All versions come with the latestgeneration 8.0 Bosch ABS, complete with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist which ensure that maximum use is made of the car’s braking power. Under heavy braking, the hazard warning lights are automatically activated.
All models come standard with Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with understeer control. This system uses the engine management system to reduce torque and modifies the braking with a view to improving stability and bringing the car back onto the ideal trajectory, while the understeer control acts on one or more wheels.
This feature is combined with ASR traction control, which intervenes when starting or when accelerating in conditions of low grip, and engine torque overrun regulation (MSR), which prevents the driven wheels from locking when the driver lifts his or her foot from the throttle pedal or when slowing on slippery road surfaces.
The original Mégane Hatch and Coupé-Cabriolet were the first cars in their respective categories to be awarded a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.
The Mégane is designed to ensure maximum protection in all the situations recorded by Renault’s accident research programme and the car comes with Renault’s thirdgeneration System for Restraint and Protection (SRP III) which guarantees optimal protection for occupants wherever they are sitting. The car’s body shell, which is in the front line when it comes to ensuring the protection of its occupants, is designed to absorb energy, while the cabin itself forms a survival cell to protect occupants from the intrusion of mechanical components or body parts.
According to the model type and equipment level, the Mégane is equipped with up to eight airbags: two front adaptive airbags, two front/rear curtain airbags, two front thorax airbags, two rear thorax airbags (Mégane Renault Sport five-door) and two anti-submarining airbags built into the front seat cushions (Mégane three-door Hatch and Coupé-Cabriolet versions only).
Anti-submarining airbags ensure the same level of safety for the front occupants of three-door versions as that afforded by the five-door versions without impeding on access to the rear seats*.
The front seats of Mégane feature double pretensioners (except Mégane three-door Hatch and Coupé-Cabriolet*) and load limiters. Built into the seat belt buckle, the pretensioners hold the occupants in their seat. If necessary, the second pretensioner, which is located at the other end of the strap kicks into action to hold the body more firmly in place, protect the pelvic region and combat the phenomenon of submarining. Meanwhile, the load limiter reduces the pressure applied by the seat belt to the thorax and shoulder.
To ensure maximum protection for all occupants, Mégane’s two side rear seats are equipped with three-point seat belts, pretensioners and load limiters. Meanwhile, the anti-submarining structure is reinforced, while the seat belt buckle anchor points have been shortened and strengthened in order to protect the stomach.
The Mégane Coupé-Cabriolet is now fitted with automatic roll-hoops. This system is made up of two specially-shaped tubes and a mechanical assembly consisting of a spring and rack, an electromagnetic release mechanism and three sensors located in the centre of the car. If the sensors detect an emergency situation (a lateral angle of more than 52°, a front or rear angle of more than 67° or free fall), the electromagnet unlatches the rack to allow expansion of the springs which deploys the roll-hoops in just 500 milliseconds. A “fir tree” shank enables the roll-hoops to be locked in their extended position (130mm).
* On three-door versions, the need to access the rear seats means it is impossible to fit the second pretensioner on the outer side of the seat. In this case, the pretensioners are replaced by antisubmarining airbags.
Equipment and Specifications
The Authentique is available with one engine and transmission combination - the 82kilowatt 1.6-litre engine matched with a five-speed manual transmission. Like all models in the Mégane range, the Authentique comes standard with airconditioning, a single in-dash CD player with satellite controls, automatic headlights, rain sensing wipers, “smart” rear wiper, cruise control with speed limiter, electric front and rear windows and door mirrors, 60/40 split fold rear seats, chilled glove box, 15” steel rims with covers, trip computer and outside temperature gauge, front and rear fog lights and “see me home” headlight function.
Standard safety equipment includes dual front, side and curtain airbags, ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution and emergency brake assist and electronic stability programme with understeer control.
The mid-spec Expression is also available with one engine and transmission combination – the 98 kilowatt 2.0-litre engine matched with Renault’s four-speed proactive automatic transmission.
On top of the Authentique’s extensive equipment list, the Expression variant adds climate control air conditioning, lumbar adjustment on the driver’s seat, and larger 16” steel wheels with covers.
The top-spec Dynamique is available with the 98 kilowatt 2.0-litre engine coupled to either a six-speed manual gearbox or Renault’s four-speed automatic transmission. Equipment levels include those features found on the Authentique and Expression with the addition of a six-stack in-dash CD player, leather trimmed steering wheel and gear knob, body coloured bumper inserts and bodyside protection mouldings, 16” alloy wheels and chrome door handles.
The entry-level Expression is offered with the choice of a six-speed manual transmission or four-speed proactive automatic transmission.
Standard features on this model are climate control air conditioning, a single in-dash CD player with satellite controls, automatic headlights, rain sensing wipers, “smart” rear wiper, cruise control with speed limiter, electric front and rear windows and door mirrors, 60/40 split fold rear seats, chilled glove box, 16” steel rims with covers, side and rear sunshades, trip computer and outside temperature gauge, front and rear fog lights, “see me home” headlight function.
Standard safety equipment includes dual front, side and curtain airbags, ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution and emergency brake assist electronic stability programme with understeer control.
The top-spec Privilege is offered with one transmission, the four-speed proactive automatic. It has all the Expression’s features and equipment with the addition of rear parking proximity sensors, a six-stack in-dash CD player, leather trim steering wheel and gear knob, leather trim upholstery, floor mats, 17” alloy wheels and chrome door handles.
Standard features on this model include climate control air conditioning, a six-stack in-dash CD player with satellite controls, automatic headlights, rain sensing wipers, “smart” rear wiper, cruise control with speed limiter, electric front and rear windows and door mirrors, rear parking proximity sensors, leather trim steering wheel and gear knob, leather trim upholstery, removable anti-turbulence screen, 60/40 split fold rear seats, chilled glove box, 16” alloy wheels, roof blind, trip computer and outside temperature gauge, front and rear fog lights, “see me home” headlight function.
Standard safety equipment include dual front and side airbags, front anti-submarining in-seat airbags, ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution and emergency brake assist plus electronic stability programme with understeer control.
Mégane Renault Sport
All models come with a host of features including climate control air conditioning, automatic headlights, rain sensing wipers, “smart” rear wiper, cruise control with speed limiter, electric front windows and door mirrors, leather trim steering wheel and gear knob, 60/40 split fold rear seats, chilled glove box, trip computer and outside temperature gauge, front and rear fog lights, “see me home” headlight function.
Standard safety equipment includes front Brembo brakes, ABS with electronic brake force distribution and emergency brake assist plus a sports-tuned electronic stability programme with understeer control.
The three-door Mégane Renault Sport has cloth trim, a single in-dash CD player with satellite controls, 17” alloy wheels, dual front, side and curtain airbags and front anti-submarining in-seat airbags.
Unique features to the five-door Mégane Renault Sport include a six-stack indash CD player with satellite controls, leather trimmed upholstery, 18” alloy wheels, xenon headlamps, dual front airbags and dual curtain airbags plus front and rear side airbags.
For customers looking for a more sporting drive, the five-door Mégane Renault Sport can be ordered with an optional Cup chassis pack. The pack includes cross drilled front and rear discs with front Brembo brakes, disconnectable ESP (Electronic Stability Programme), uprated dampers and springs and shock absorbers to reinforce the sensation of rigidity and augment cornering ability, plus exclusive Dunlop SportMaxx tyres.
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