Renault Mégane RS Ultime, the end of a legendary Renault Sport epic

It’s time for a swan song for Renault Sport. To celebrate the end of the diamond brand’s motorsport, performance and special vehicles division, Renault has unveiled the Mégane RS Ultime, a limited edition of its fiery petrol sedan, thus marking the 20the anniversary of the Megane RS series.

Symbol of a bygone era, the Renault Mégane RS has been unveiled in a final limited edition called Ultime. The sporty compact has said goodbye forever, as has Renault Sport, the Renault sports division behind this legendary car, which is also celebrating its 20th anniversary. The latest RS-branded model is currently making its public debut at the Tokyo Auto Show.

If it is clear that the upcoming loss of Renault Megane RS and Renault Sport remains an event that is not the happiest for French car lovers and especially the diamond brand, Renault has ensured that its small sporty compact will make of the last stroke of light. The Renault Megane RS is simply one of the most popular sports compacts of the past two decades. Its refinement, good performance and relatively reasonable price were its best assets in the second and third generation Mégane, when the French compact stood out in particular.

Despite the fact that demand for the fourth generation has dropped significantly, it’s still a car we love to see and drive. This version of the Mégane RS Ultime is a real last hurray for the brand’s outgoing hatchback and for the brand itself. From now on, it will be Alpine, the new brand of sports cars from Groupe Renault, that will write the next chapters of this story.

The Renault Megane RS Ultime will be produced in 1,976 numbered units, as a nod to the founding year of Renault Sport. All copies will be signed by Laurent Hurgon, the test driver who broke many FWD lap records in the Mégane RS and actively participated in its development.

An eye-catching design

Visually, the Renault Mégane Ultime can be distinguished by matte black graphics on the bonnet, roof, profile and rear bumper, whose design is inspired by the new Renault emblem. The Renault Sport’s founding year, 1976, is written in the stripes on the right side of the car. The logos, door handles, window surrounds, rims, fender covers, rear diffuser and front bumper Formula 1 blade are all finished in black. The striped pattern of the exterior is also extended to the key fob.

The unique appearance of the new car is formed by extended wheel arches (+60 mm at the front and +45 mm at the rear), as well as a black decorative design of mirrors, door handles, tire rims. The livery can be combined with four exterior colors – Star Black, Pearl White, Sirius Yellow and Tonic Orange – and 19-inch “Fuji Light” black wheels.

It also features front fender vents, RS Vision headlight, center exhaust, shark fin antenna, spoiler and working rear diffuser. Inside, the red accents and Alcantara-trimmed Recaro CS seats with embroidered RS badging are distinctive and add to the feeling of focus. The door sills are specific, while a metal plate numbered from 1 to 1976 adorns the dashboard, with the signature of Laurent Hurgon, test driver and responsible for the development of all Mégane RS.

Equipment that combines luxury and sportiness

This new and latest iteration of the Mégane RS is not only the sportiest, but also the most luxurious for the Renault Megane model because unlike the spartan RS Trophy-R, the RS Ultime is equipped with many equipment. Standard equipment includes RS Vision LED headlights, 9.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with RS Monitor navigation and telemetry, 10-inch digital instrument cluster, Bose Hi-Fi system, and cruise control adaptive speed control and 360 degree camera.

The left-hand drive model has more optional equipment than its right-hand drive counterpart, as it can receive a head-up display and a sunroof. Finally, owners can opt for a special cover with RS Ultimate graphics.

Performance worthy of its legacy

When it comes to performance, the Mégane RS Ultime is based on the Trophy with a hint of Trophy-R madness. It has the rigid chassis of the lowered Cup and hides under its bonnet the same engine as the Trophy with a displacement of 1.8 liter turbocharged that produces a power of 296 hp and a torque of up to 420 Nm.

Power is sent to the front axle via a six-speed manual or six-speed EDC dual-clutch automatic (Europe only), assisted by a Torsen mechanical differential. The automatic variant accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (in 5.7 seconds), although the numbers are not as significant for a classic car like the RS Ultimate.

It rolls on track-tuned Bridgestone Potenza S007 half-tracks originally developed for the Megane RS Trophy R, wrapped in 19-inch Fuji Light rims. Dual-barrel Brembo brakes with red calipers provide stopping power. It features Renault’s famous 4Control four-wheel steering system, as well as a front-wheel drive self-locking Torsen differential, all guaranteeing maximum agility both on the road and on the circuit.

Laurent Hurgom, driver and setup manager at Renault, commented: ” The Mégane RS represents 15 years of my work at Renault Sport. From stage 2 of the Mégane II, we have continued to improve its dynamic characteristics to continue to be at the forefront of its category. Nürburgring records are unforgettable challenges, full of passion, adrenaline and emotion. And now, Megane RS Ultime… I am especially proud that the version, which symbolizes the end of this wonderful epic, can bear my signature”.

The Renault Mégane RS Ultime is scheduled to go on sale in spring 2023, replacing the RS and RS Trophy versions. The company has yet to announce pricing for Renault Sport’s latest hurray. This year will likely be the last for the full range of internal combustion-engined Meganes, allowing the all-electric Megane E-Tech crossover as an indirect replacement in the compact segment.

Teddy Sarou

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