2018 Renault Megane RS powers into Frankfurt with 280-hp 1.8L turbo, all-wheel steering

Renault will also introduce a 300-hp Trophy version in late 2018

Renault has finally lifted the veils off its all-new Megane RS hot hatch in Frankfurt, and there's a lot to take in.

First of all, the third-generation of Renault's C-segment hot hatch ditches the 2.0-liter turbo-four of its predecessor in favor of a 1.8-liter Twin Scroll turbo four-cylinder unit with direct injection that delivers 280 hp (205 kW) at 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 390 Nm (288 lb-ft) from 2,400rpm up to 5,000rpm.

In case you were expecting more power, rest assured: a 300-hp, 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) Trophy version will arrive at the end of 2018. For the first time, the Megane RS is available with a choice of two transmissions: a standard six-speed manual or an optional six-speed EDC dual-clutch gearbox with paddle shifters.

There's no word on performance specs yet, but Renault says the new model comes with 4Control all-wheel steering as standard, which is supposed to improve agility in tight turns and improve cornering stability at higher speeds for both Sport and Cup versions.

The 2018 Megane RS also features four hydraulic compression bump stops inspired by rally driving. According to Renault, this configuration improves handling and comfort on all types of road. Furthermore, the entirely redesigned independent steering axis front suspension is said to enhance precision, while the new Torsen LSD of the Cup version improves traction and cornering speeds.

Stability is also favored by the wider body and tracks that accommodate 18- or 19-inch wheels. Unique styling cues also include a wide air intake and rear lip spoiler, as well as motorsport-inspired parts such as a rear diffusor, F1-style front blade, and a 3D honeycomb-pattern grille mesh modified by Renault Sport.

Other distinguishing features are the Renault Sport badging common to Renault Sport Racing and Renault Sport Cars, making the Megane RS the first production car to feature the new moniker. A new Tonic Orange body color is available as well.

Inside, the Megane RS offers sports front seats with integrated head rests, fabric or Alcantara upholstery with red top-stitching, a charcoal gray trim, RS badging and more. Drivers can choose one of five driving modes from the Multi-Sense system: Comfort, Normal, Sport, Race and Perso.

There's also the R.S. Monitor onboard telemetry technology which has received an "Expert" mode that allows users to connect a camera, film their drive, play back and analyze their data, and share their images on social media. The model also comes with an array of driver aids (ADAS) that can be activated or switched off using the 8.7-inch R-Link2 tablet.

Interested? You'll have to wait until December 2017 to place an order for the 2018 Renault Megane RS.

If that's too long a wait, you might want to check out another powerful front-wheel-drive hot hatch just revealed in Frankfurt: the SEAT Leon Cupra R.

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