QUICK DRIVE: Renault Megane RS265

QUICK DRIVE: Renault Megane RS265

To be completely honest, there hasn’t been a hell of a lot that has changed about the Renault Megane RS265 since we last drove it, but it is the sort of car that when a company asks you if you want to drive it again, you simply don’t say no…

Since our last experience in the Targa-liveried animal Renault has restyled the nose of the car, incorporating the latest Renault family face and added a few bits and pieces of interior trim, like red stitching, settles and other highlights, as well as carbon fibre-look trim.

LED daytime running lights also now feature on the front, but it is the new face that is the biggest differentiator between this car and the old model that hasn’t actually been available in New Zealand for a while now.

What isn’t changed (thankfully!) is the thoroughly fantastic package that sits under the swoop skin – the 195kW/360Nm four-cylinder turbo engine is still an absolute ripper that feels perfectly matched to the six-speed manual transmission (the only transmission the RS265 is available with), while the chassis that it all sits on is an beautifully balanced, razor-sharp thing of wonder.

Okay, so in terms of being the only car you own and a daily driver, the RS265 wears thin very quickly indeed. It is surprisingly comfortable, even at around-town speeds, but the low-slung ride height and awkward, high-sided and heavily bolstered sports seats make it a literal pain in the arse to climb in and out of (you really don’t want to mis-time your ‘sit’ and land on one of those solid, unforgiving side bolsters, trust me…), and the lack of sensible daily practical touches – like cupholders that are actually usable – make it something that is far more enjoyable as a weekend fun car. Or, even better, a track day car.

And that is where the true beauty and genius of the RS265 lies – it is a car you could easily drive out to a race track, spend the day thrashing the nuts off it on the track and simply drive home again afterwards. But don’t buy a drink to go. It’s definitely not that sort of car…

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