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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Renault Megane GT

Performance and pleasure for daily use

The Mégane range sees the introduction of Mégane GT, a new dynamic derivative that can be ordered with either the 165hp 2.0 T engine or the diesel 2.0 dCi 150hp powerplant. Mégane GT is aimed at customers looking for driving pleasure from a car they can use on a daily basis. Its sports chassis ensures outstanding handling performance without compromizing the balance between comfort and handling. Mégane GT's distinctive exterior looks and interior design emphasize its sporty calling. The car is available in three- and five-door form and will go on sale at the end of 2006.

Following the success of Mégane Renault Sport, Mégane GT reasserts Renault's interest in the hot hatch segment. The combination of its sports chassis and the choice of two powerplants both acclaimed for their punchy performance ensures that Mégane GT meets the demands of customers looking for pleasure when they get behind the wheel.

Petrol or diesel power

The market for diesel saloons with a power output of between 140 and 160hp has seen a marked upward turn in western Europe. In 2002, their share of around 2 per cent was little more than marginal, yet today they account for almost 20 per cent of total sales. Mégane GT arrives on the marketplace powered by the high performance yet inexpensive to run 2.0 dCi engine which boasts the very latest diesel technologies, including piezo-electric injectors, 1,600 bar common rail injection and a variable geometry turbo. With a power output of 150hp (110kW) at 4,000rpm and peak torque of 340Nm at 2,000rpm, it stands out as one of the most efficient powerplants of its class. Coupled with a manual six-speed gearbox, the 2.0 dCi 150hp engine – like its petrol alternative – ensures a particularly broad useful rev-band. Meanwhile, Mégane GT 2.0 dCi's fuel consumption (5.4 litres/100km) and C02 emissions (144g/km) are amongst the lowest of its class.

For fans of petrol power, Mégane GT can also be ordered with the 2.0 T engine which delivers maximum power of 165hp (120kW) at 5,000rpm and torque of 270Nm at 3,250rpm. Again mated with a manual six­speed gearbox, this powerplant takes Mégane GT from standstill to 100kph in just 8.3 seconds. Both of the engines available for Mégane GT combine excellent driving pleasure, performance and flexibility.

A sports chassis for dynamic handling

While some sports saloons tend to place the accent on performance to the detriment of comfort, Mégane GT combines the two. When developing this chassis, Renault's engineers opted for technical solutions that ensured outstanding handling and a particularly effective front suspension layout without detracting from the car's vertical suspension performance.

To this end, Mégane GT features specifically tuned dampers for optimized control of body roll whatever the driving style.

Compared with the previous versions of this chassis used for Mégane 2.0 T and 2.0 dCi Dynamique, Mégane GT's chassis comes with stiffer front and rear anti-roll characteristics aimed at combating body roll under cornering. The ride height has also been reduced by 10mm in order to lower the centre of gravity, while the stiffness of the front and rear springs has been increased by 24 per cent. For optimal steering precision and response, the electric power steering is controlled by specific parameters and the front suspension bushes are stiffer. The ESP has been especially calibrated as a function of the characteristics of Mégane GT's sports chassis to ensure a comfortable ride whether driving around town or on motorways, while at the same time guaranteeing perfectly rigorous handling along twisty roads.

Available in three- and five-door form, Mégane GT is a new model in its own right and takes over from the Mégane range's former Dynamique versions as far as these two powertrains are concerned. Its looks mirror its assertive personality. Outside, Mégane GT comes with a spoiler and chrome grille surround on the front bumper, as well as side sills, a rear hatch-mounted lip spoiler, specific "dark metallic" 17-inch alloy wheels and twin centrally-positioned chrome exhaust tailpipes with a "dark metallic" GT-badged tailpipe trim. Mégane GT is available in a choice of eight body colours, including Metal Blue which is specific to the model.

The inside of the car reveals an unmistakably sporty ambience including enveloping seats and a leather sports steering wheel complete with GT badging, plus an aluminium pedal assembly and footrest. Leather upholstery is also available as an option. The modern, dynamic interior trim features a stainless steel flake finish for the centre console, glove compartment trim and door handles. The background of the instruments is blue-grey, while the upholstery sports run-and-fell stitching and silver-grey seatbelt straps.

After its unveiling at the Paris Motor Show, Mégane GT will go on sale at the end of 2006 and will be produced at Renault's Palencia factory in Spain.

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