Round the time of Gran Turismo 5’s release, the Renault Megane RS 250 was one of my top pops in my car mind. I love the world of hot hatches, and among all of them, the Megane was my favourite of the ones on sale. Not only was it more than a match for its competition in the speed stakes, but it drove with power and precision and showed little in the way of flaws even next to the rest of the hot hatch group. It was the driver’s hot hatch – my hot hatch.
Oh, and it looked truly, madly and deeply wonderful. In that flaring yellow paint, its beautiful shape combined with the black contents surrounding it and the power felt oozing from it made me want it, want it, want it, so badly.
So imagine my relative surprise to see a car bearing the name of ‘Megane Renault Sport’ in the Renault Sport dealership of GT5.
Then my relative anger when I found out it was the previous model.
Why, oh why would you take the previous model that had paled into more insignificance among other hot hatches of the time with a ride that was all too rigid and overconsuming compared to the driving experience? And what of its silly look with an awkward front and a boxy rear featuring its well advertised big arse?
Wait. I like big arses. It’s forgiven.
Indeed, it wasn’t even a half bad car to drive. Certainly one of the better ones of its type in the game, with a drive that defied its front-wheel drive status and enough speed to just about see it by. I rather liked it as a car.
But at the end of the day, it was still the wrong Megane.
So I was happy, when, along with the weider HSV-010 that had been added into GT5, the right Megane was announced to be coming into GT6. So that was my two major car list queries well covered, then. And me a happy man.
Indeed, they also went and put in the fast Megane Trophy racer in as well. And not only that…they put their funky 15th Anniversary livery on it, and it on the cover of the 15th Anniversary edition itself. So I now bear a copy of Gran Turismo 6 with a form of a car I lust after and will do for a long time. A car I could realistically aim for, not the new Bugatti that everyone and Rick Ross goes for.
This particular road Megane is the boosted up, 265bhp Trophy model that was built to break the front-wheel drive record at the Nurburgring. It succeeded, and still holds it. Though the new Civic Type R is threatening to break it, though that’s still a fair way from being finished.
And as a car on Gran Turismo 6, it does not disappoint me.
It, like the ’08 Megane RS before it, manages to mask the front-wheel-drive identity it has superbly. Except unlike the wrong Megane, which only feels vaguely but not confidently fast – as it if could be outsped by anything else at any moment – the Megane RS Trophy has genuine speed behind it. And that helps massively for its driving feel.
Understeer is much more minimal than you would ever think. You can power it through bends surprisingly well, though not too hard. But then, you don’t need to with this. Cars that manage this go down well in my books.
The sound is also worth noting. But I’m not sure in what way. The sound itself seems to match the speed of the car – it does possibly contribute to the feel of speed in that way. But I’m not sure about the sound itself. It sounds fine, but also not…and I’m not sure why it goes either way. But it works for me, so I’m fine with it.
And of course, it still looks as much the part in GT6 than it does in real life. It really is a sexy car, for me. It ticks all the boxes in my mind. And in the SSR5 night-time, the black does blend in well with the darkness, and even personifies this sweet yellow paint. It’s so…wonderful.
I am very proud of PD for finally going in and putting the right Megane in – a car that means an awful lot to me since I first saw it and it caught my eye in all the right ways. I’ll cherish it in this game – especially as, in the real world, a new Megane is coming. And after the colossal failure that the new Clio RS was, Renault Sport will have to step it up – even with using probably the same materials and mechanics as the Clio RS. They’ll have to as well, with the super-power Astra VXR GTC and the super-solid Focus ST now present in the hot hatch world. So extra power should make up very well for the undoubted new flappy-paddle gearbox, possibly smaller engine and greater reliance on turbocharging in the new Megane RS. Renault Sport know what they’re doing with hot hatches. And they still should next time.
Now you know why I put this in the banner twice.