In other words, the likes of the ‘usual’ suspects – including the Volkswagen Golf R, Ford Focus RS and Mazda3 MPS. Once it goes on sale, it could easily emerge as the frontrunner. The RS 250 builds on the sporting prowess of the brilliant Renault Sport Megane RS 225, offering more power and a wealth of additional high-performance hardware.
Peak power goes up from 165kW in the RS 225 to 184kW, while torque grows 40Nm to 340Nm in the RS 250. Zero to 100km/h is six seconds neat – almost 0.2 seconds faster than the RS 225.
The RS 250 boasts a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine driving the front wheels (with drive delivery reigned in by a limited-slip differential) via a six-speed manual transmission only. Top speed? Well into ‘But officer …’ territory, at about 250km/h.
Borrowing heavily from the trend set by Audi and Mercedes-Benz (and latched onto instantly by HSV locally) the Megane RS 250 gets LED-based daytime running lights. There’s also a switchable ESP system with two operating modes: ‘street’ and ‘track’ with the latter setting allowing more leeway into the yaw domain before intervening.
Styling? Monumentally in-your-face, typically French, and likely to polarize opinion into ‘beautiful’ and ‘ugly’ camps. Regardless, nobody will ever think the Megane RS 250 is too subtle, matching voluptuous curves with contrasting black accents front and rear, black wing mirrors, red brake calipers and F1-style rear diffuser with integrated central exhaust.
It’s unlikely you’ll forget the kind of car you’re in, once inside an RS 250. If you do, quick glances at the sports alloy pedals, sports-inspired steering wheel, high-restraint front buckets and dinnerplate-sized tacho with shift light (plus an audible warning) will probably remind you - often.