The Mégane Renaultsport 175dCi is due in showrooms in spring 2007 following a likely Geneva motor show debut in March.
Priced between £18,500 and £20,000 it will be capable of 140mph, but also offer 45mpg and a sub 160g/km CO2 rating, providing particular scope for user chooser fleet sales.
Embodying the Dieppe-based Renaultsport philosophy of stripping weight out of mainstream models and fitting aerodynamic bodyshells, the 175bhp Mégane, fitted with a close ratio gearbox, will accelerate to 62mph in around 7.5 secs.
Renault’s 270 UK outlets sell around 25% of Renaultsport production and Nick Tame, national fleet sales manager, says: “If or when we get an incremental vehicle like that it will be very welcome as a combination of driver appeal, image and tax efficiency.”
Later this year Renault retailers will offer another performance Clio, with the GT-badged 2.0-litre 140hp petrol competing against Fiesta ST and Polo GTI.