Name: Neil Mann
PH Username: Chimaera001
Current Car: Volkswagen Golf GTi Mk5
Let's start with a three-word, alliterative summary of the Megane 250 Cup for those with a short attention span: composed, capable and competent.
Now for a bit more detail. As the driver of a Golf GTI Mk5, I was intrigued to see how the game has moved on. In comparison with the Vee-Dub, the Megane is significantly quicker on track - of that there is no question. It has a better gearbox, tons more grip, and is in a different league in terms of its sonorous appeal. The interior is top-notch for the sector and, in dark grey with the optional rims, it's a handsome bit of kit on the outside too.
On the test day, however, a number of things irritated. Chief among them was the 'bong' that told you the optimum time to change up. Other items I suggest need addressing are switching the accelerator pedal for a floor-hinged item, reducing the effect of the servo on the brakes, giving the engine the extra 1000rpm it is crying out for, and giving the rear more adjustability with ESP dialled-out. The capability to record lap times and view the amount of g whiffed of 'Marketing'. Oh, and the glove compartment is useless.
We didn't get to try the spiffy 19-inch wheels, nor a non-Cup chassis. All the cars had the optional Recaro seats, which are definitely worth the extra moolah.
What Renaultsport boffins really need to do to attract folks like us is to cross-breed the Megane 250 with the Cup versions of the Clio 200 and Twingo 133, both of which are far more alert, adjustable, eager, fizzy and fun (something that will no doubt happen if you look at the evolution of the previous Grande Derriere generation).
Would I recommend one overall? Without driving one on the road I can't say for sure, but certainly if you turned up at a circuit in one you wouldn’t be embarrassed. Except perhaps in the yellow one...