The new Megane R26R
The fastest front wheel drive road car to lap the Ring
The complete ring lap timed to prove a point for Renault I guess
Renaultsport skipped the bit about the cup holders and cut right to the chase – their new beast can lap the Nurburgring as fast as a Porsche 911 or a BMW M3. Nurburgring, once a 13.8 mile Grand Prix track in the Eifel Mountains, Germany, is now the hallowed track for motor manufacturers to test their latest performance machines. The R26.R can lap the twisty circuit in an astonishing 8 minutes 17 seconds, the fastest time for any front wheel drive production car
Developed from the Renaultsport 230 F1 Team R26, the R26.R retains the same 230hp turbocharged engine and six speed gearbox, but with a significant weight reduction of 123kg. This has been achieved by the removal of all non-race essential items, such as the rear seats, curtain airbags, climate control and stereo.
A carbon fibre bonnet (saves 7.5kg), polycarbonate tailgate and rear side windows (saves 5.7kg), as well as body hugging competition seats (saves 25kg) and six-point harnesses, all demonstrate the R26.R's racing DNA.
The suspension has been optimised to make the most of the new, lightweight chassis and to provide maximum performance. Together with a limited slip differential, Renaultsport says it has minimised torque steer and has enabled power to be applied earlier during cornering.
A performance car of this calibre needs brakes that are both powerful and fade-resistant. The R26.R is graced with massive 312mm ventilated and grooved discs at the front with Brembo four-piston calipers that provide stopping power at the highest level.
The heart of every iconic car is its engine, and like its F1 machinery, Renaultsport has pushed the boundaries of engineering to equip the R26.R with a blinder. Full of character and a wide power band, 90% of the engine's torque is available from 2000rpm to 6000rpm, resulting in effortless performance. The dash to 60mph from rest is covered in just 5.9 seconds.
A future classic like the Gordini?