Confirmed: Renault Megane RS will retire in 2023

Confirmed: Renault Megane RS will retire in 2023

Renault Sport’s last performance car – and likely Renault’s last petrol-powered hot hatch – will be phased out in 2023, to be succeeded by the Megane E-Tech electric car.

That Renault Megane RS – Renault Sport’s last performance model and Renault’s only remaining petrol-powered hot hatch – has less than a year to live.

As Renault shifts its small car focus to electric vehicles – and the reborn electric city car Renault 5 emerges as the French company’s next hot hatch hero – the countdown to the end of production of the Megane RS has begun.

It will still be built – and sold in Australia – in 2023, but time and buyer preferences speak against it, and production is set to end before the end of next year.

Renault has already confirmed that the Megane name will continue in Australia in late 2023 with the all-new Megane E-Tech Electric – a small SUV, not a hatchback, that will run on batteries rather than petrol.

“Megane E-Tech will [arrive] at the very end of next year. So in a year,” said Renault Australia General Manager Glen Sealey journey.

“Megane RS will stop next year. I don’t have an end date for the production yet, but from a production point of view it won’t go beyond the end of next year.

“The demand for a hot hatch in Europe is decreasing. This can be replaced by an electric car. And it makes sense to switch.”

He said current stock of the Megane RS in Australia is just a handful of cars, although this will be replenished in early 2023. Waiting times for new orders are believed to be around three to four months.

The only version currently available is the Megane RS Trophy, which starts at $62,300 before road cost with a 1.8-liter turbocharged engine producing 223 kW and 420 Nm (400 Nm in the six-speed manual).

Prices have increased significantly over the past 12 months, from $53,990 plus road cost for a six-speed manual version in early 2021 to $62,300 in July 2022.

“I think there are about five or six in the whole dealer network today. In the first months of next year we are still starting to produce a little bit. But then it stops,” Sealey said.

Four years ago, the smash-hit Megane RS topped a broad Megane range in Australia, alongside hatch, sedan and estate body styles and several RS model classes (Sport, Cup and Trophy) – but all were slowly dropping out as sales .

Once part of a heated showroom battle in Australia, the RS still meets the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Honda Civic Type R, Hyundai i30 N and the just-unveiled Cupra Leon – but many of its rivals, including the Ford Focus ST, dropped out of the competition.

“We will miss this car for Australia. There will be a limited production of a final edition, but I don’t know what that will be yet,” he said.

However, he predicts a new battle between the growing number of compact electric cars.

“In terms of the Megane E-Tech, there are natural competitors from Volkswagen. But you also have the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar, although to be fair they’re probably a bit larger than the Megane.”

Based on a new platform for electric cars, the Megane E-Tech Electric offers a range of up to 470 km – although with a 160 kW electric motor and a 0 to 100 km/h acceleration in 7.4 seconds it’s mostly a Megane RS is successor in name only.

Meanwhile, Renault will remain in the hot-hatch market – but with its revitalized Alpine sports car brand and electrified in the form of the Clio RS-sized Renault 5 city car. It’s on Renault Australia’s radar.

Paul Gover

Paul Gover has been a motoring journalist for more than 40 years and has worked for newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and television. A qualified general news journalist and sports reporter, his passion for driving has taken him to Wheels, Motor, Car Australia, Which Car and Auto Action magazines. He is a champion racer as well as a World Car of the Year judge.

Read more about Paul GoverLinkIcon

Similar Posts:

Asley Simon

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *