Between 2010 and 2012, Renaultsport monopolised the podium when it came to hot hatches, with a triple-pronged assault that opened with the Twingo, continued with the Clio and reached its apex with their magnificent version of the Megane Coupe. Here was a car with no close rival. Yes, there were hatchbacks that offered more performance, but none blended power and control with quite the same delightful tactility and effectiveness as the Megane Coupe Renaultsport. Here we take a look at the Megane 250, a car that offers strong used value coupled with the ability to embarrass supercars when the going gets twisty.
The Megane 250, as we'll abbreviate it henceforth, had some very big boots to fill. Its predecessor, the Megane Renaultsport R26, was a 230bhp hooligan as home on a race track as on the road. This spawned an even more focused model in 2008, the R26.R, which made just about every other hot hatch instantly seem about as composed and fleet-footed as a Jon Sergeant and Anne Widdecombe paso doble. The thing was, the styling of this generation Megane never found universal acclaim. In fact, many found it plain ugly.
Making a prettier Megane was never going to be difficult. Building a Renaultsport model that built on the R26 was a heck of an assignment and when the Megane 250 first appeared, it looked as if it had succumbed to a bit of middle age spread. Yes, the fit and finish of the cabin was noticeably better, but had the power output climbed enough to take account of the additional bulk that went with the extra quality? It seems we needn't have worried.
The Megane 250 was even quicker and more capable than its predecessor. Yes, a little of the rawness that made the old R26 so breathtaking had been lost, but most customers who were looking to run their car for 365 days a year would willingly take that trade. The car was sold in both standard form and in a more focused 'Cup' version right through to 2012 when it was replaced by the Megane 265.