The Megane R.S. Ultime incorporates the unique expertise of designers, engineers and specialists who have helped to catapult its reputation Renault Sport for 20 consecutive years. Through the iconic models of its range Renault Sportthe test driver Laurent Hurgon it tells us about the passion for performance that still defines all those who work on the premises of Les Ulisin which its range is now evolving Alpine.
Laurent Hurgon in a Megane 4 RS Trophy-R.
THE Renault Sport embodies the boldness of engineering and design inspiration that was her vision when the first model passed from the hands of its experts. Inspired by his success Clio Williamsthe impressive two-seater roadster Renault Sport Spider – codenamed W94 – caused a sensation when it was introduced at the 1995 Geneva Motor Show.
To Renault Sport Spider it combined an aluminum frame with a mid-mounted engine behind the driver’s back, while its assembly took place in Alpine factory in Dieppe, Normandy, from 1995 to 1999, laying the foundations for the future creation of Renault Sport.
The philosophy that gave birth to the Spider was then applied with the same uncompromising focus on performance and driving pleasure to the production models. In 2000, the baton took over Clio 2 in RS version with performances that exceeded his own Clio Williamsdespite its somewhat understated appearance.
The Clio 3 and Clio 4 these too received Renault Sport treatments, but the version that left its indelible mark was the impressive Clio V6 – which was also released in 2000 – whose engine with their 230 horsepower, the movement at the rear and the “swollen” wings, were heart-pounding in themselves! Since then this Clio has been a coveted collector’s itemwhich changes hands for prices in excess of 100.000€!
Then, the Renault Sport turned her attention to Meganeshowing the same passion for performance, while o Laurent Hurgon he was part of the team tasked with developing successive versions of the model.
He himself Laurent has stated: “Renault Sport already had a lot of experience from them car race and we transferred our experience to the street models from tracks and rallies worldwide. An example was the hydraulic bump stops which were first introduced in Clio R.S». At the same time, he spoke about one more Cutting Edge Technology that made the difference, the 4address. «The first time I tried it, it was one completely new experience. It was something revolutionary!” and was adopted by all the Megane RS 4th generation.
The Reneault Megane R26R was the first Renault Sport car to set a Nurburgring record.
Before, however, he appeared the radical R26Rwhich was based on Megane 2nd generation. «For us, the R26R signaled the beginning of a new era. Our request was simple: Convert the Megane RS in a car capable of standing in races. So we removed the back seat, replaced the windows with plexiglaswe placed titanium exhaust manifold and carbon fiber hood etc.».
Part of the evolution of the famous pocket rocket, took place on the famous 73-turn Nordschleife at Germany’s Norburgring circuit. “The North loop was the perfect environment for this purpose as it includes every type of turn, slow, medium and extremely fastwhile it becomes exhausting for the whole transmission-engine-body. There we carried out an intensive endurance testing program achieving many new records for a front-wheel drive car!»
To Renault Megane Trophy-R.
The first was noted by Vincent Bayle in 2008at the wheel of one R26R. Then the baton of records was taken by Laurent Hurgonnoting three more: in 2011 with Megane Trophy 3rd generationin 2014 with the Megane Trophy-R 3rd generation and in 2019 with the Megane Trophy-R 4th generation.
«The cooperation of the whole team was excellent, with everyone to work towards a common goal. I feel incredibly lucky to have been there the one who completed the process. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished. It was a privilegewhich I will never forget.” They followed many more recordson various tracks like the Spa and Suzuka.
Although he has participated in various projects for the Meganein his memory Laurent Hurgontwo in particular have been carved out: “Of course it is R26R and Megane 4 Trophy-R. Really, we worked hard on the last one! In terms of performance, the bar was set very, very high while its evolution kept us on our toes. When I went with it for the Nurburgring recordwas the only time I had to resort to a second round as well».
Her May 1, 2021the Renault Sport Cars renamed to Alpine Carswhich means that the Megane R.S. Ultime is the swan song of the RS division
The Renault Megane RS Ultime
The model presented in January 2023encompasses its entire range of expertise Renault Sportincluding the sophisticated front axle with independent armsof the lowered Cup frame, of hydraulic bump stops and the system 4address 4CONTROLwhile it is available in a collector’s edition of 1,976 numbered units (referring to the year Renault Sport was founded), all signed by Laurent Hurgon.
The Megane R.S. Ultime closes a page of glorious history, but opens a new one, because its know-how Renault Sport will not be lost as now it will be integrated in the upcoming models of the range Alpine!