Confirmed for a Frankfurt debut in September, the Renault Megane Mk4 will be one of the most important new models heading to Australia next year
RENAULT has confirmed that an all-new Megane five-door hatch will have its public unveiling at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show in September, ahead of an Australian launch sometime in the second half of 2016.
Speaking to media at the debut of the emerging-market Renault Kwid compact SUV in India, Renault's Senior Vice President of Design, Laurens Van Den Acker, revealed timing details about the firm's vital Volkswagen Golf rival.
“The new Megane will be launched in the Frankfurt motor show. It's a segment which is hugely competitive because you're competing against the VW Golf, Peugeot 308 etc,” he said, adding that the design will make a complete departure from the current model's aching conservatism by being “…a very sexy, very sensual, very attractive, sporty looking vehicle.”
Clearly continuing the bold and high-hipped flowing styling themes set by the smaller Clio and its Captur crossover offshoot, the Mk4 Megane is the fourth all-new vehicle under Van Den Acker’s stewardship, and the third Renault to be based on the fresh CMF1 (Common Module Family) scalable architecture. As a result, overall length, width and wheelbase dimensions increase dramatically.
Up to 10 more models will follow using the same CMF1 componentry set, including the next Megane Coupe (siring the replacement for the popular Renaultsport hot-hatch series), Scenic wagon (expected to be wheeled out in the middle of next year, but probably not for Australia), and Koleos, which moves up to D-segment medium SUV status now that the Nissan Qashqai-based Kadjar has surfaced.
The Qashqai connection suggests that some Mk4 Megane models such as the RS could gain a multi-link rear suspension set-up like the VW Golf GTI, VW Golf R and Ford Focus ST, instead of the simpler torsion beam arrangement, though Renault's desire for the lightest possible solution may yet see the latter triumph to help eke as much fuel efficiency. It would also help as part of a sustained weight-watching exercise that could result in reductions of 100kg or more, as keeping carbon dioxide emissions down is the overarching concern of every Euro manufacturer nowadays thanks to ever tightening emissions legislation.
Speaking of pollution, variations of Renault's lauded turbocharged 0.9-litre three-cylinder and 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engines are a certainty in the lower-end Meganes, along with 1.5-litre dCi turbo-diesel units. Whether the RS will join the Clio version in downsizing from 2.0 litres is not yet known.
Renault's R-Link central touchscreen, along with higher quality materials and the option of multi-personalisation trim, should mark out a larger and more effectively packaged cabin, addressing one of the seven-year old Megane's biggest drawbacks. Refinement and noise issues will also be addressed.
With both the Clio IV and Captur currently outstripping sales expectations internationally, Renault is enjoying a product-led renaissance, and hopes the next Megane will be on similar terms with the high-flying Golf when sales on the Continent commence next January.
“The new Megane is vitally important for us,” according to company spokesperson Emily Fadeyev.
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