According to Renault, the most potent version of the previous generation Megane RS, the 230HP R26.R that went on sale in October 2008 for a limited run of 450 examples, 230 of which are destined for Britain, has set new benchmark lap times at four UK tracks. The French carmaker announced that at Silverstone, Drivers-Republic recorded a lap time of 1 minute and 19.4 sec, almost three seconds faster than the more powerful Ford Focus RS that is equipped with a 300HP 2.5-liter turbocharged five pot while at the West Circuit at Bedford Autodrome, Evo magazine timed the R26.R at 1m 29 sec beating the RS by almost two seconds.
At Bruntingthorpe, Performance Car said that it timed the R26.R faster than the Focus RS, the Subaru Impreza STi Type UK and found it even faster than a 360hp Revo-tuned Seat Leon Cupra. Finally, at Millbrook, Autocar magazine recorded a time of 1min and 15.6 seconds, a second faster than the Focus RS.
The French carmaker said that the R26.R, which boasts the same 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 230HP as the normal R26 but weighs 123kg or 271 lbs less than its standard counterpart, has now set benchmark times for a front-wheel drive production car at Silverstone, Bedford Autodrome, Millbrook and Bruntingthorpe.
Last year, the Megane R26.R established a new lap record for a front-wheel drive production car at the 13-mile Nurburgring circuit in Germany recording a time of 8 minutes 17 seconds.