The Western European market for high-performance compact cars (140 to 160 hp) is rocketing. From a marginal 2% in 2002, it has grown to account for around 20% of C-segment diesel cars today. To address this demand, Renault is releasing the new MĂ©gane GT.
MĂ©gane GT, available in coupĂ© and hatchback formats, is a full-fledged member of the MĂ©gane range, and takes the place of the Dynamique trim version with 165 hp 2.0 T petrol or 150 hp 2.0 dCi diesel engine. The car's strong personality shows through in a highly assertive exterior design, complete with spoiler and chrome-finished radiator grill surrounds on the front bumper, side skirts, hatch airfoil, special 17'' aluminium wheels in dark metallic finish, and a dual chrome-finish central exhaust outlet with tailpipe trim in dark metallic finish and GT badge. MĂ©gane GT comes in a choice of eight body colours, including the exclusive metal blue.
The interior styling abounds with sports features such as bucket seats, leather-covered steering wheel with GT badge, and aluminium pedals and footrest. Leather upholstery is available on option. The tone is modern and vibrant, with stippled stainless steel paint finish on the central dashboard panel, glove compartment trim and inside door handles, and a blue-grey background for the instrument dials. The upholstery features beaded stitching, and the seatbelt straps are in silver-grey.
Choice of diesel or petrol engine
MĂ©gane GT is available with the 2.0 dCi diesel engine, a powerful yet economical unit that implements up-to-the-minute technologies including piezo-electric injectors, 1600-bar common rail and variable-nozzle turbocharger. With power output reaching 150 hp (110 kW) at 4000 rpm and torque 340 Nm at 2000 rpm, this engine is among the most efficient in its category. With drive coupled through a six-speed manual gearbox, the diesel-powered MĂ©gane GT gets snappy response across an extended range, comparable to that of a petrol version. MĂ©gane GT 2.0 dCi also boasts best-in-class fuel economy and pollution control, consuming just 5.4 l per 100 km, and emitting just 144 g of CO2 per km.
To address motorists who prefer a petrol power pack, MĂ©gane GT is also available with the 2.0 T engine, which develops maximum power of 165 hp (120 kW) at 5000 rpm and maximum torque of 270 Nm at 3250 rpm. Coupled with a six-speed manual gearbox, this engine propels MĂ©gane GT from 0 to 100 km/h in just 8.3 s.
With either engine, MĂ©gane GT offers discerning motorists a distinctive blend of driving pleasure, pure performance and versatility.
High-performance chassis Whereas some sports-oriented cars achieve high performance at the expense of driving comfort, MĂ©gane GT manages to combine both virtues. This achievement owes much to the car's specially developed chassis: the technical solutions adopted by Renault engineers would emphasize body support and front axle efficacy without jeopardizing vertical damping.
Specifically, MĂ©gane GT features specially calibrated shock absorbers affording full control over body motion regardless of driving style. And for improved rear axle tracking, the substructure linkage uses specially hardened parts.
The MĂ©gane GT chassis differs from the previous chassis used on MĂ©gane 2.0 T and 2.0 dCi Dynamique on several points. Front and rear anti-sway subsystems are stiffer to reduce the roll angle when cornering. The body is 10 mm lower, to bring down the centre of gravity. Front and rear springs are 24% stiffer. Front axle precision and response are optimized by special settings for the electric power steering system, and stiffer front suspension damping units.
The electronic stability programme (ESP) is specially calibrated for the high-performance features of the MĂ©gane GT chassis. With this chassis, MĂ©gane GT is capable of slick response along winding roads while losing none of its comfort under urban or motorway conditions.
Proven industrial process
Hatchback and coupĂ© versions of MĂ©gane GT are made at the Renault Palencia plant in Spain, one of the three major sites making MĂ©gane Hatch, Sport Hatch and Sport Tourer. The 165 hp 2.0 T and 150 hp 2.0 dCi engines that power MĂ©gane GT are made at the Renault ClĂ©on plant in France. Renault has invested â€š€5 million in developing MĂ©gane GT.
MĂ©gane in Europe
MĂ©gane II ranks number-two in the European sales charts, and is the top-selling car (across all segments) in France, Belgium, Spain, Holland and Portugal for 2006 so far.
Since MĂ©gane II first appeared on the market in 2002 it has sold a total of 2,358,648 units in Europe (by end of September 2006). With its seven different body variants, MĂ©gane offers a very close match to differing customer expectations across the whole breadth of its market segment. Top five-star EuroNCAP rating attests to superlative safety levels. Performance and equipment reap full benefit from up-to-the-minute technologies developed by Renault and the Renault-Nissan Alliance. This goes a long way to explaining MĂ©gane's benchmark status in the C segment.