New Megane, new tech for 2012
FACTORY FRESH: Not perhaps the standard paint job, but this was one of the Megane 2012 Collection cars launched in downtown Jozi.
Author: Les Stephenson
Renault SA has launched its New Megane Hatch and Coupe Collection 2012, perhaps a little late in the year but nevertheless a set of stunning C-segment cars with the latest fuel-saving tech.
Their prices start at only R209 000 – a number seriously challenging to other automakers’ products in South Africa - though changes to the cars' appearance are minimal.
NINE MODELS - SOME TO COME
The chosen venue for the reveal, strangely, was an empty factory/warehouse in a part of central Johannesburg where few of the northern suburbs population will ever visit but fashionably “industrial” for modern tastes.
There will be nine models, including a 1.4 turbo Megane GT-Line Hatch and Coupe and the 1.6 Megane Hatch and Coupe Expression – the Expression versions startlingly good value and (as with all models) will be sold with a five-year or 150 000km warranty. Diesel engines are expected later in the year (see below).
“The updated range for 2012,” Renault says, “has fresh styling complemented by higher levels of technology, safety and equipment. The model range has been revised and expanded to offer greater value for money.”
The former weirdly named Shake it! has been discontinued. Shaken off, perhaps...
Fabien Payzan, Renault SA’s VP for marketing, added: “The range’s modern styling, new technologies, efficient engines and advanced features give us an opportunity to gain a clear competitive edge in the compact vehicle market by exceeding the expectations of our customers.”
Renault Megane 2012 Collection launch gallery.
Essentially, the cars are a new version of the former Coupe 1.6 Expression and “more value” for the Hatch with, Renault says, “design enrichment and upgraded specifications”. Very unusually, the Hatch and Coupe entry models and the matching 1.4 Turbo GT Line units are tagged at the same price - R209 900 and R249 900 - and are, essentially the same cars – except the hatch has the extra pair of doors.
Other brands in the segment are priced at as much as R300 000.
The new Renaults can be instantly identified by their black bumpers, body-colour door releases and mirrors and their 16” alloy rims. They come variously with eight air bags, new audio systems with Bluetooth, USB port and iPad connections, cruise control with a speed limiter (vital, Renault believes, in these days of savage speeding penalties), power windows and a key card.
The 1.6 Dynamique Hatch (no Coupe version) costs an extra R10 000, but for that you get a well-priced package that adds LED running lights, 17” alloys, body-colour side mouldings, Dynamique upholstery, satnav with “live” services (traffic info, local Google searches for, for instance, particular shops, services or weather, and auto operation for the headlights and screen wipers.
SAVE SOME SERIOUS MONEY
The turbo 1.4-litre TC GT-Line Hatch and Coupe come with 17” “dark-metal” alloy rims and mirrors, “boomerang” (see gallery pictures) diode daylight running lights, leather upholstery with red stitching, a sport analogue instrument cluster, naked aluminium pedals, leather red-stitched gear-shifter and steering-wheel covers, parking sensor, auto aircon, audio system with MP3, iPod, USB connections, Bluetooth and GT-Line and Turbo badging.
This model is R40 000 less than its nearest competitor, Renault says.
An electronic stability programme is standard on the Megane 1.4 Turbo Control Efficiency GT Line models along with a specially adapted three-mode ESP on the Megane RenaultSport 265
The standard ABS is bolstered by electronic brake force distribution and emergency braking assistance on all models. In terms of impact protection, all Meganes are equipped with dual front, side and curtain airbags, as well as IsoFix child-seat anchors.
Options, for another R5000, are auto high-beam, rear parking camera and lane departure warning.
A turbodiesel 1.6 dCi 130 version of Hatch Dynamique is expected in September/October 2012 with a 2.7-bar turbocharger boosting power and torque of this Energy family engine to 96kW/320Nm and a claimed four litres/100km (20% less than to the previous 1.9 dCi) thanks in part to Formula 1 tech developments involving almost square bores of 79.5x80mm and stop/start.
Combined with these are significantly lower exhaust emissions of only 104g/km of CO2.
Also new is a transverse engine-cooling system: instead of the returned cooled water mix running longitudinally past the cylinders with a consequent deterioration of cooling properties as the liquid gets further from the radiator it is returned from one side to the other to give equal cooling to each.
As the performance flagship, the Megane RenaultSport 265 receives a revised aerodynamic front skirt incorporating the new-look six-LED daytime running lights first seen on the new limited-edition Megane RS Trophy. The Sport model also receives new Tibor 18” rims and the Cup and Trophy feature 19” Steev rims - the latter with red edging and high-performance Bridgestone RE050A tyres.
This revised RenaultSport has the uprated two-litre turbocharged engine introduced in May for the exclusive Megane RS Trophy. All versions, including the Sport, Cup and Trophy, now produce 195kW/360Nm.
Several changes have been made to the interior of the range to, Renault says, “improve perceived quality at all levels of the line-up, including new trim for the Expression, Dynamique and GT Line models”.
The Expression gains shiny chromed highlights on the door releases, gear-shifter and instrument dials, along with a dark carbon dashboard and trim panels. On the Dynamique, contrasting silver accents on the dashboard, vents and steering wheel “enhance the upmarket look and feel”.
The GT Line, as already mentioned, receives a sportier execution with carbon grey trim accents underlined in red, and shiny black finishes for the steering wheel, along with distinctive stitching on the steering wheel and gear lever gaiter. It also features a sporty new leather/fabric trim pack.
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1.6 Expression - R209 900
1.6 Dynamique - R219 900
1.6 dCi Dynamique - R269 900
1.4 Turbo GT Line - R249 900
1.6 Expression - R209 900
1.4 Turbo GT Line - R249 900
RS Sport 265 - R359 900
RS Cup 265 - R399 900
RS Trophy 265 - R409 900
All models will be are sold with Renault Confiance which, Renault says, guarantees the highest level of customer satisfaction and after-sales service.
There’s also a five-year of 150 000km warranty, a five-year or 100 000km service plan (service intervals 15 000km), a six-year anti-corrosion warranty, five years or 150 000km 24-hour roadside assistance, fixed-price servicing and guaranteed spare parts availability.
Get more info about the new Meganes here.
Full range specifications.