After several spy and leaked photos, Renault has released the first official information and images of its new Megane.
And like the outgoing model, it looks unlike anything else in its class while the French carmaker promises big things from the stylish newcomer.
It is due to make its appearance at the Paris Motor Show in October.
The new Megane is destined for South Africa too; however, Renault is tight-lipped about when it will arrive here. A company spokesperson told Wheels24 that the Megane’s local launch date hasn’t been set yet.
But don’t be surprised if Renault shows it at the Johannesburg Motor Show later this year.
Although Renault’s local reputation in terms of quality and service is hot topic, the company hopes that the latest Megane will change its fortunes.
With a radical, but stylish design, with loads of Gallic flair the third generation Megane is a stunner.
By 2010, the new Megane family will be complete and with six different models such as a three-door hatch, coupe cabriolet, station wagon and sedan. A new Megane-based Scenic is in the final stages of development too.
Renault claims that quality has improved with the newcomer. Fit and finish on the inside appears to be top notch, and the clean interior design, with a sweeping dash, has been influenced by the latest Laguna saloon.
There are also some innovative new display and control systems which includes a combination of digital and analogue instruments. For example the rev counter is analogue, but speed is displayed digitally.
An array of hi-tech equipment will be available, including hands free entry and ignition, an assisted parking brake which automatically applies itself when the engine is switched off.
The new Mégane sits on a modified version of the current car’s chassis, though the track is wider, and the suspension and steering have been heavily re-worked to boost the overall driving experience.
Furthermore the car is about 8kg lighter than the car it replaces (good for efficiency), while safety remains a high-priority.
Renault has also freshened-up the engine line-up with a range of petrol and diesel engines available.
Of the six diesels that will eventually power the newcomer, three offer CO2 emissions equal to or below 120g/km.
At launch there will be four dCi diesel engines available with a power output ranging from 62kW to 96kW. Two more powerful engines will join the range later.
Petrol power comes from 1.6-litre engines with outputs of either 73kW or 80kW. There is a naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre unit with 102kW and a turbocharged TCe engine generating 132kW.
A TCe130 will arrive next year, powered by a lightweight 1.4-litre block promising low emissions.
Five and six-speed automatic and manual transmissions will be available from launch.