There’s a bit of Renault Sport excitement running around PistonHeads at the moment, after a long time away it should be said. Despite failing to overcome the Civic Type R in a twin test, enough talent was shown by the new Megane Trophy to suggest that running one for half a year will be a pleasure. And the Trophy R isn’t far off either, stripped bare and promising – as these lightweight Meganes have always delivered – one of the great front-wheel drive experiences.
Whoops, did it already. There’s no possibility of discussing the current Renault Sport Megane without thinking about the old one; arguably more than any other car, the Megane IV sits in the shadow of its predecessor. What went previously impressed so many that changing the formula, which is naturally required with progress, becomes an unenviable task.
It’ll hopefully be more than familiar to hear now, but is worth repeating: the Megane III Renault Sport’s genius was in forging together a modern, usable, fairly practical and durable hatch with the kind of dynamic class, engagement and enjoyment that surpassed the rest. It was great, on any road and in almost any situation. It’s a combination the latest car hasn’t yet stumbled upon, but give it time – the last Megane was criticised for being a bit mature after the second gen model, after all…
And here we are, 10 years after launch, with one of the best hot hatches of this century available for £5k. £5,500 to be precise, but a quick sale is required and so there might be some wiggle room. A bargain already, and even more so when you bear in mind how much is shared with the later, racier models that cost so much more.
Alright, so a £5k Megane 250 is never going to be perfect. Ideally it would be a Lux rather than a Cup, for a start. There are some advisories on the MOT, it’s already just crept over 100,000 miles, the wheels are scuffed and the seats, well…
There are also four Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, though, a Milltek exhaust, a K-Tec induction kit and the R.S. monitor. It’s also HPI clear, and shouldn’t need a service for a few thousand miles.
You only need look at what Ben achieved with his Megane to see where a bit of money spent on one (especially the seats, in this case) can work wonders for these cars. So much is good already, yet easily improved as well: they can comfortably (and reliably) handle more power, and a decade of these cars being on sale means a whole host of chassis options are there depending on how serious you want the overhaul to be.
This looks like the perfect base, then, for a Megane track project. There’s always an element of risk in buying the cheapest available example of a car – the next most affordable Megane is £7k, but £1,500 would be a great start for modifications – and this will be no different. For a while now, though, the key mechanicals of the Megane have proven strong, and the car generally reliable. This 250 could end up owing its next owner less than £10,000 and be an absolute riot. You don’t always need mega money for a mega Megane…
SPECIFICATIONS - RENAULTSPORT MEGANE 250
Engine: 1,998cc, four-cylinder turbo
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive,
Power (hp): 250@5,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 251@3,000rpm
First registered: 2010
Recorded mileage: 104,000
Price new: £22,995
Yours for: £5,500
See the original advert here.