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Renault Megane RS 2018 to get dual-clutch auto for first time

Renault’s new Megane RS was driven around the Monaco Grand Prix circuit by Renault Sport Formula One driver Niko Hulkenberg.

Renault has confirmed its new-generation Megane RS will come to market with a dual-clutch (EDC) automatic transmission option, the first time the flagship French small hatchback has been offered with only two pedals.

The new transmission choice will be offered alongside a six-speed manual Megane RS and the news coincides with the new model’s public reveal – albeit still wearing extensive camouflage – at the Monaco Grand Prix, where Renault Sport Formula One driver Niko Hulkenberg put the car through its paces.

The new transmission is expected to be sourced from its Clio RS light hatch sibling, and if true, the Megane RS will get six ratios that will likely send power to the front axle, and is expected to be aided by a four-wheel-steering system seen on the current range-topping GT variant.

The high-performing model will wear a more aggressive bodykit when compared with its standard hatchback siblings. The high-performing model will wear a more aggressive bodykit when compared with its standard hatchback siblings.

The public debut of the Megane RS also confirms the high-performing model will wear a more aggressive bodykit when compared with its standard hatchback siblings, including a tri-foglight design, extended side sills and beefed up rear arches.

As reported earlier when the Megane RS was first teased, the new hot hatch will wear a headlight design lifted straight from its Koleos mid-size SUV sibling.

Although Renault has yet to confirm a powertrain, it is expected the third-generation Megane RS will utilise a 2.0-litre turbocharged (F4RT) four-cylinder engine, carried over from the outgoing model which can produce as much as 202kW/360Nm.

However, other reports have surfaced suggesting the powerplant may come from the Alpine A110 revealed at the Geneva motor show, which employs a 188kW/320Nm turbocharged 1.8-litre turbo four.

Both engines will put the new Megane RS on pace to compete against its front-drive, hot-hatch contemporaries including the 184kW/360Nm Ford Focus ST, 169kW/350Nm Volkswagen '7.5' Golf GTI and the incoming 184kW or 202kW Hyundai i30 N.

Renault is set to fully unveil its latest hot hatch at this year’s Frankfurt motor show in September, with an expected release date in 2018.

Does a dual-clutch automatic option make sense in a small hot hatch like the Renault Megane RS? Tell us what you think in the comments below.