2008

Renault Mégane R26.R

Renault Mégane R26.R

Light but no lightweight

The Nordschleife record was a first for Renault Sport and the 8:17.54 time obliterated the previous mark by 9 seconds. Key to this was cutting weight, with an aluminium subframe, carbon-fibre bonnet, and polycarbonate side and rear windows taking around 123kg off its predecessor. Even the rear window heater and wiper blade were sacrificied to lighten the car.

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In the driving seat

Sabelt carbon-fibre bucket seats made their contribution to weight loss, with the rear seats removed completely. Road-approved racing harnesses (a first for a road car) added to the businesslike feel, and air-conditioning was an optional extra to reduce weight. Another option was the four-point roll bar, designed to meet any track safety requirements.

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Building on success

The Mégane R26.R had the same 2.0 litre engine as the Mégane F1 Team R26, with short-shift six-speed manual transmission. This 16-valve turbocharged powerplant develops 230bhp and a torque of 310 Nm, with 90% of the maximum torque available between 2000 and 6000 rpm. Renault Sport worked hard to achieve that tricky compromise between everyday road comfort and track grunt, but still delivered a 0-100km/h time of just 6 seconds.

Building on success
Building on success

Speed and control

As impressive as its speed off the grid, was the grip and stopping power of the Mégane R26.R. With a weight of just 1,232 kg, it had a power-to-weight ratio of 5.3kg/hp, running on optional Toyo R888 semi-slick tyres and braked by custom Brembo 4-piston calipers at the front end.

Speed and control
Speed and control
Speed and control
Speed and control
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Spirit of a new era

Perhaps the most impressive feature of the R26.R was how it captured the spirit of Renault Sports. It was a vehicle for anyone to drive to the track, in the same way Renault 8 Gordini drivers had competed in the Gordini Cup, many cutting their teeth for later racing fame. The noise of the two-liter supercharged engine with its optional titanium exhaust was the sound of the affordable sports car for a new generation.

Spirit of a new era
Spirit of a new era
Spirit of a new era
Spirit of a new era

A limited edition

With only 350 R26.R ever built, any owner is in exclusive company. That select group enjoy a Nürburgring 8:17 logo in the rear quarter windows and a plaque on the central console giving the car a number based on the even more limited sales in each specific country.

A limited edition
A limited edition