Hot Renault Run Extended
1st May, 2008
Ongoing customer demand for the Special Edition Megane RenaultSport F1 Team R26 hatch has resulted in Renault Australia ordering another 20 cars, on top of the 80 sold in 2007, from the Renault Sport factory in Europe.
“Demand for the R26 was very high from the day it went on sale,” says Renault Managing Director, Rudi Koenig. “Even though it has been very popular in Europe we have been able to source some additional production. In doing so we limited the order to 20, making sure we protect its appeal as a special edition.”
The latest batch of R26’s will only be available in ‘Victory Yellow’, once again because of customer demand.
The F1 Team R26 is the second Special Edition RenaultSport hatch built to commemorate dual Formula 1 World Championships in 2005 and 2006. The 2005 championship model, also know as the ‘F1 Team’ was only available ‘Alp Blue’, with 40 cars being sold in Australia during 2006.
Based upon the Megane RenaultSport 225 three-door, the new R26 was designed by the engineers at RenaultSport, the Renault subsidiary where all performance road cars are developed.
Its two-litre turbo engine, uprated by a further 3 kW to 168 kW, a revised "Cup Chassis’ suspension 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 channeled to the road.
Engineered To Perform
The RenaultSport F1 Team R26's most striking features are found under its skin, principally its revised 2.0 16-valve turbocharged engine which now delivers 168 kW (228 hp) at 5,500rpm 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 exhilarating acceleration. The engine is teamed with a close ratio six-speed manual transmission.
A new sports-exhaust system guarantees a sporty rasp from the engine, particularly at low speed and during hard acceleration. The R26 features a unique set-up of the "Cup" chassis suspension system which is optional on the Mégane RenaultSport 225 five-door. The modified version has 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
Equipped with a limited slip differential, the R26 has never been so close to being a genuine competition car. The limited slip differential benefits traction capabilities irrespective of driving style or corner type.
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 axis. 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.
The R26’s traction control system has also been recalibrated to optimise launch ability.
Brakes and Tyres
Performance of this calibre calls for brakes that boast both bite and endurance. The R26 is fitted with Brembo four-pot front callipers and vented 312 mm diameter discs – providing outstanding stopping power.
Sporting style – inside and out
Mégane RenaultSport F1 Team R26 is distinguishable from other Mégane Renault Sport models with its unique Renault F1 Team decals on the bumpers, doors and roof, whilst 18-inch alloy wheels are also standard.
Inside, a F1-style numbered plaque, mounted under the handbrake, reinforces the 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 recommended retail price is $44,990 (plus dealer delivery, stamp duty and other on road costs).
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