PistonHeads.com Forum

RE: Renaultsport Megane 250: PH Fleet

RE: Renaultsport Megane 250: PH Fleet

Thursday 23rd November 2017

Renaultsport Megane 250: PH Fleet

Let's call it the Megane 320 now, OK? Ben begins upgrading his latest Renaultsport...



In the time it has taken me to write this update, I'd pretty much bought and sold my R26 230 F1 Edition Megane. I've since covered over 6,000 more miles in VU11 WLD and it's fair to say it has come a long way since I bought it.

Well, when you have family in Wales...
Well, when you have family in Wales...
With my brakes sorted, I met up with PHer M77MWW (also known as Matt away from the Internet) to chat about his infamous Capsicum Red Megane. Coilovers were on the table and still haven't been ruled out yet, but he advised me that while his KW Clubsports were sensational on track, the car was too compromised on the road. Given how impressive the car was at Rockingham, I wanted to try the springs route first, and Matt recommended the H&R solution. The car sits 35mm lower and is ever so slightly stiffer, but is such a great compromise for road and track, reducing roll in the corners without being too harsh on our well-maintained British roads.

Let's talk about power. While in standard form the car is hardly lacking, out of the 22 cars I've owned I've yet to have one with more than 300hp. And given that the current breed of hot hatch seems to require that magic number to even be considered by most, why not create my own for a fraction of the cost?

It's widely suggested that Renault was modest with its quoted power figures on the 250, and that purely a map alone would take the car beyond that magical figure. But I don't just go into GBK and order a beef burger; I want all the trimmings to make it tastier. Sorting induction, exhaust and cooling seemed like a good place to start.

This didn't take long!
This didn't take long!
While ordering my Forge intake hose, it seemed rude not to upgrade to its diverter valve to complement my open-cone Ramair air filter. Open cone filters are great if you're still a 10-year old inside like me and like lots of noise, and also offer the best power gains with a map. With a K-Tec three-inch turbo-back exhaust system fitted for yet more noise and better air flow, my last stop was Pro Alloy Motorsport for its intercooler and turbo cooler package. Just look at the difference in size from the OEM intercooler to the Pro Alloy unit; it's quite something! The coolers show respective 18 and five per cent decreases in temperature, so I can rest assured the car won't be overheating with the additional boost.

With everything in place, it was time to make the long journey north to RS Tuning in Leeds, but not before stopping off at Midlands Renault Specialists to get the belts, water pump and dephaser changed as part of the 75,000-mile/six-year service interval. £550 later, I was on the road again for the really exciting bit. With a forecourt packed with Renaults, including its own Clio R.S.16 build, it was easy to see how Paul has built up such a good reputation at RS Tuning. With the car on the rollers, he talked me through my options and got to work.

Ben says he has enough power. For now...
Ben says he has enough power. For now...
A short while later, he walked through the waiting room with a passing comment "it's a strong one, this". Smashing my expectations, the final map delivered a staggering 321hp and 360lb ft. In a front-wheel drive hot hatch.

I struggled to contain my excitement as I sat in the passenger seat for a test drive. With a short shift into second, my heart was in my mouth as the car pulled hard, propelling us down the road in a way I'd never had thought possible. The car was transformed. Despite that, it's not intimidating to drive and with controlled throttle input in the lower gears, you can get the power down very, very quickly. With full expectation for the front wheels to spin up everywhere, I was very impressed with how well the car copes with the power.

Next stop was Wales, to see what the Megane could really do on some decent roads. With my brother in tow in his Mini John Cooper Works and blessed with some cracking weather, our first landmark was Rhayader to take in an old frequent jaunt through the Elan Valley. While the roads here are narrow and don't really allow you to test a car's ability, it's a truly stunning location and an old favourite.

Wonderful Wales and a mega Megane!
Wonderful Wales and a mega Megane!
After a lunch stop in Aberystwyth, we headed to Bala to pick up my favourite road in the country: the B4391. The combination of smooth roads, jaw-dropping scenery, wide corners and little traffic makes it the perfect spot to stretch your legs. It's a shame to have to travel hundreds of miles to experience roads like this, but it's worth every single one of them. With so much torque lower down the rev range, you can hold a higher gear in the knowledge that a squeeze of the throttle is all that's needed to engage that mechanical differential through a corner and propel you out the other side. Yet this is still only a taste of the car's capability.

There's plenty of track action planned for next year to properly exploit the power and to see how far the car and my driving has progressed, since I started driving on track two years ago in my first Renaultsport. There's going to be plenty more to see from the Megane in the coming months but, until then, I'm off out for another drive.


FACT SHEET

Car: 2011 Renault Megane 250 Lux
Run by: Ben Lowden
Bought: May 2017
Mileage: 61,522
Last month at a glance: Serial tinkerer Ben gets to work modifying the Megane

Previous reports:
Renaultsport swap as Megane 230 goes for Megane 250

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images: Ben Lowden

Author
Discussion

giveablondeabone

Original Poster:

2,263 posts

80 months

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
I bet that bloody flies! Always tempted by these. Forgive my ignorance but I assume you have the lsd fitted?

Butter Face

15,672 posts

85 months

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
giveablondeabone said:
I bet that bloody flies! Always tempted by these. Forgive my ignorance but I assume you have the lsd fitted?
It's got Cup Chassis (you can tell by the red calipers) so yes it has LSD.

325bhp is ace. They are cracking when tweaked!

jason61c

2,755 posts

99 months

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
Is that an at the wheels figure?

Do you have a the before and after graph?

Derek Chevalier

1,431 posts

98 months

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
"Smashing my expectations, the final map delivered a staggering 325hp and 360lb ft. In a front-wheel drive hot hatch. Where the car was making peak power at just over 5,500rpm before, it's now coming it at around 3,600rpm"

Maybe my maths is suspect, but you'd have to be generating a lot more torque to achieve 325bhp @ 3600rpm

http://www.epi-eng.com/piston_engine_technology/po...

NorfolkSteve

98 posts

116 months

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
360 lb ft @ 3600 rpm is 250 HP (at 3600 rpm). Hopefully you have peak torque at 3600 rpm and peak power somewhat further up the rev range.Otherwise someone is telling you porkies...
Advertisement

AlrightYouns

2,036 posts

17 months

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
Excellent Car, always been tempted by a megane rs, alas no 5 doors so could never get one.

(The latest one advertised for 2018 has 5 doors!!!!)

BenLowden

845 posts

102 months

PH Marketing Bloke

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
Turns out I was being a complete numpty and misread the graph, so please ignore the shift in peak power! It has now been deleted, and I'll get my coat... getmecoat It is making peak torque at 3,600rpm, as it pretty much was before the map. I'll upload the graph soon though for those interested.

giveablondeabone said:
I bet that bloody flies! Always tempted by these. Forgive my ignorance but I assume you have the lsd fitted?
It certainly does! As Butter Face has said, the Cup and Cup-packed cars come with a mechanical LSD, whereas non Cup-packed cars only have an open diff. The easy way to tell is Cup-packed cars have red Brembos, whereas non Cup-packed cars have silver Brembos.

giveablondeabone

Original Poster:

2,263 posts

80 months

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
BenLowden said:
Turns out I was being a complete numpty and misread the graph, so please ignore the shift in peak power! It has now been deleted, and I'll get my coat... getmecoat It is making peak torque at 3,600rpm, as it pretty much was before the map. I'll upload the graph soon though for those interested.

giveablondeabone said:
I bet that bloody flies! Always tempted by these. Forgive my ignorance but I assume you have the lsd fitted?
It certainly does! As Butter Face has said, the Cup and Cup-packed cars come with a mechanical LSD, whereas non Cup-packed cars only have an open diff. The easy way to tell is Cup-packed cars have red Brembos, whereas non Cup-packed cars have silver Brembos.
My 9-5 Aero has around 310-320bhp and is a good bit heavier than your Renault but still pulls very well indeed. I am seriously thinking of a quaife next if it doesn't sell and I keep it. Is the diff in the Megane a quaife atb type?

Scottie - NW

732 posts

158 months

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
Would like to see the graph as the torque and power curves are more important that just the peak numbers, especially in how a car drives.

ZX10R NIN

9,225 posts

50 months

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
Nice work I know how well they go my mate has a similar conversion carried out by Ktec, the best part is that the car feels like it should have had that power from day one.

MikeGoodwin

1,075 posts

42 months

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
With the map from RS tuning does it still pull strongly up the redline? One of the things I like most about mine is the fact it just headbutts the redline rather than running out of gas as it approaches the limit (think golf r or focus st).

Also how does it do in the dry with the power? My 275 with diff wont spin up in the dry even with traction switched off.

cossers

1,165 posts

65 months

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
Looked one of these and a great car but ended up with the j vxr as i like the looks abit more, funny enough I'd like to lower mine a bit just for looks, I've the h&r springs on my r27 and find them a bit harsh so was thinking of the kw v3 coilover route! On softest settings Can't be any worse than in vxr mode!

culpz

2,582 posts

37 months

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
Fantastic updates as always, Ben. Car's looking like a proper weapon now! I still think these are the best-value, modern hot-hatches out there; even with the standard power. They definitely respond well to a bit of fettling, as you've found out. RS Tuning really know their stuff, too.

Are the clutches quite stiff in these? I think it's just a general Renaultsport trait in most, if not all, of the range. Well, the one's that are still manual, that it is! Has Matt still got his 250? I know he's got the TTRS now but didn't know if he'd sold the Meg or not. I believe the TT is already up for sale, though.

PorkRind

2,059 posts

130 months

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
I like them but, i think id struggle not to toast a set of fronts every 2500 miles with that sort of power going through the front wheels!

BenLowden

845 posts

102 months

PH Marketing Bloke

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
Scottie - NW said:
Would like to see the graph as the torque and power curves are more important that just the peak numbers, especially in how a car drives.


Here you go! To my untrained eye the torque curve looks a bit wiggly at the top, but the power delivery is very smooth and I'm chuffed to bits with it. Best of all, it hasn't made any impact on fuel consumption either. Depending on how you drive of course.

BenLowden

845 posts

102 months

PH Marketing Bloke

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
MikeGoodwin said:
With the map from RS tuning does it still pull strongly up the redline? One of the things I like most about mine is the fact it just headbutts the redline rather than running out of gas as it approaches the limit (think golf r or focus st).

Also how does it do in the dry with the power? My 275 with diff wont spin up in the dry even with traction switched off.
It does indeed! You can see the power delivery on the graph above, plus it now redlines at 6,800 instead of 6,500 smile And I love that it has a proper limiter you can hit, it doesn't just run out of power like some other cars do.

It's seriously impressive in the dry. I'm sure if I put my foot flat to the floor in first it would spin the wheels, but I ease it in and don't have any issues at all!

culpz said:
Fantastic updates as always, Ben. Car's looking like a proper weapon now! I still think these are the best-value, modern hot-hatches out there; even with the standard power. They definitely respond well to a bit of fettling, as you've found out. RS Tuning really know their stuff, too.

Are the clutches quite stiff in these? I think it's just a general Renaultsport trait in most, if not all, of the range. Well, the one's that are still manual, that it is! Has Matt still got his 250? I know he's got the TTRS now but didn't know if he'd sold the Meg or not. I believe the TT is already up for sale, though.
Thank you and agreed, which is why I ended up buying one! I wouldn't say it's stiff at all actually. Not compared to a 1*2 Clio anyway; that used to be a proper work out. Matt traded his 250 in for the TTRS, but yes that's up for sale now too, not sure what he's getting next. Although as far as I'm aware, he still has his E46 M3 so not too bad!

PorkRind said:
I like them but, i think id struggle not to toast a set of fronts every 2500 miles with that sort of power going through the front wheels!
Only time will tell hehe But I think as long as you're sensible with how you put the power down, it shouldn't be too bad really.

nickfrog

8,013 posts

142 months

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
giveablondeabone said:
Is the diff in the Megane a quaife atb type?
No it's a GKN torque-sensing helical type.

It does a brilliant job although some actually upgrade it to a more aggressive Drexler for track use.

nickfrog

8,013 posts

142 months

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
PorkRind said:
I like them but, i think id struggle not to toast a set of fronts every 2500 miles with that sort of power going through the front wheels!
I only have the original 275ps and I fitted NS2Rs 180 from new. 9,000 miles later they are shot, having rotated. But that includes 7 track days.

culpz

2,582 posts

37 months

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
BenLowden said:
Thank you and agreed, which is why I ended up buying one! I wouldn't say it's stiff at all actually. Not compared to a 1*2 Clio anyway; that used to be a proper work out. Matt traded his 250 in for the TTRS, but yes that's up for sale now too, not sure what he's getting next. Although as far as I'm aware, he still has his E46 M3 so not too bad!
Fair enough. Yeah, i must admit, it's my only real potential gripe with getting a 172/182. Especially since i do alot of stop/stop town driving and get caught up in traffic a fair bit, on my daily commute. I'm sure it'll keep me awake though!

I struggle to keep up with him at times; he's had more cars that i've had hot dinners! Fair play to him though, he definitely knows how to build a proper car and always has something tasty in his fleet. I saw he had a Monaco Blue 172 for a bit.

W124

1,294 posts

63 months

Thursday 23rd November 2017
quotequote all
The best thing about the Megane RS is the way it stops. You can get away with diabolical lunacy as the balance of the car under heavy breaking is just so predictable. Thus you feel confident to push the car.

I’ve driven untold cars, loads of the sodding things, exotics, classics - all the VAG cars in this class, the Civic etc - but the Meg is an absolute great.