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Renault Unveils Megane RenaultSport R26.R


25th July, 2008

Renault Megane Renaultsport R26.R

  • New limited edition Mégane Renaultsport R26.R makes its worldwide debut in Europe
  • Developed from the Mégane Renaultsport 230 F1 Team R26, the R26.R retains the same engine, gearbox and limited slip differential but with a significant weight reduction of 123 kg
  • Achieves new lap record of the Nurburgring of 8m 17s, the fastest for a front-wheel-drive production car
  • Features from the world of racing with a carbon bonnet, polycarbonate windows, Sabelt race seats and six-point harnesses
  • Optional roll cage and titanium exhaust
  • Limited to 450 examples worldwide, 230 of which will go to the UK, RenaultSport's largest market

The Megane Renaultsport 230 F1 Team R26 was launched in November 2006 and has enjoyed great success. Using this base, Renaultsport has launched an extreme version, the Megane Renaultsport R26.R in Europe this week. Developed by Renault Sport Technologies, the Megane R26.R joins the 'family' that also comprises the Clio Renaultsport 197, Mégane Renaultsport 225, Mégane Renaultsport dCi 175 and, from September, the Twingo Renaultsport 133. Since the launch in April 2004, the 'family' of Mégane Renaultsport has sold more than 20,000 units in almost 30 countries.

The launch of this ultimate version underlines Renault Sport Technologies’ role as a leading manufacturer of high performance cars.

Mégane R26.R has been developed to:

  • offer customers who enjoy track days a car with an unrivalled performance per pound ratio
  • be an enthusiast’s icon

Radical looks

Renault Sport Technologies have given the Mégane R26.R visual differences that mark out the car at first glance. The carbon fibre bonnet and new 18” alloy wheels in red are the main visual clues together with a new rear spoiler, plus R26.R decals and logos and tinted polycarbonate in place of glass in the tailgate and rear side windows. The car is available in seven colours, two of which are new to the Mégane, Racing Blue and Renault i.d. Lunar Grey and one is brand new, Renault i.d. Pearlescent White.

Inside the R26.R the atmosphere is as radical as the outside. Competition seats with a carbon fibre shell are supplied by Sabelt who also supply the six-point harnesses, the first time that this form of restraint has been homologated in a production car. Conventional lap and diagonal seat belts can be fitted as an accessory. No rear seat is fitted. The steering wheel and gearlever gaiter are in leather and suede. A plaque shows the production number for each country:

  • 230 for the UK
  • 126 for France
  • 26 for Switzerland
  • 26 for Spain
  • 26 for Germany
  • 16 for undisclosed countries

Lightweight DNA

To improve the power to weight ratio, the Mégane R26.R has been on a strict 'diet', losing 123 kg compared to the standard R26. This has been achieved by the removal of:

  • Rear seats and seat belts
  • Passenger airbag and curtain airbags (the driver’s airbag remains)
  • Climate control (air conditioning remains as standard)
  • Rear wash/wipe and heated rear window
  • Front fog lamps
  • Headlamp washers
  • Radio/CD player
  • Most of the soundproofing

Other new elements are:

      carbon fibre bonnet (saves 7.5 kg)
    • tailgate and rear side windows in polycarbonate (saves 5.7 kg)
    • Sabelt seats with carbon fibre shell and aluminium base (saves 25 kg)
    • Six-point harnesses
    • Rear spoiler
    • Optional roll cage
    • Optional titanium exhaust

    Renault Megane Renaultsport R26.R

    A chassis without compromise

    The suspension and brakes have been optimised to make the most of the new, lighter weight and to provide maximum performance. The front independent suspension is maintained but with the following new parts:

    • new front springs (14 mm/100 kg compared to 13.4 mm/100 kg)
    • new rear springs (16.2 mm/100 kg from 15.1 mm/100 kg)
    • the shock absorber settings are also re-calibrated
    • the brake discs are grooved, not drilled
    • new alloy wheels are fitted with a different offset increasing the track by 4 mm
    • Toyo Proxes R888 225/40R18 tyres are available as an option in place of the standard Michelin Pilot Sport 2 235/40R18
    • Stiffer lower arm bushes

    To guarantee the best possible traction, the R26.R retains the limited slip differential from the Mégane Renaultsport 230 F1 Team R26.  This is a mechanical differential with helical teeth and retains the same transfer rate of 33%. The combination of this limited slip differential and independent steering-axis front suspension minimises torque steer and enables power to be applied earlier during cornering.

    A performance car needs brakes that are both powerful and fade-resistant. The Mégane R26.R has large 312 mm ventilated discs at the front with Brembo four-piston callipers that provide stopping power at the highest level. To resist fade, the discs are grooved as opposed to drilled.

    230 hp

    The R26.R takes its engine and gearbox from the Mégane Renaultsport 230 F1 Team R26. This develops a peak power of 230 hp and torque of 310 Nm. A characteristic of this engine is the wide power band, with 90% of the torque available from 2,000 to 6,000 rpm.

    However, to reduce the gear change time, a short-shift gear linkage is fitted.

    The R26.R accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 6 seconds and passes the 1,000 metre mark in 25.9 seconds. The emissions are 199 g/km.

    Nurburgring lap record

    On 23rd June, the Mégane R26.R established a new lap record for a front wheel drive production car of the Nürburgring circuit with a time of just 8 minutes 17 seconds. To commemorate this exceptional level of performance, the circuit outline and lap time is etched into the rear side windows.

    The Mégane R26.R goes on sale, in Europe, in October and is limited to just 450 examples in total.

Other Renault content: here.

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