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Renault’s new Megane is evolutionary where it counts, and revolutionary where it needs it

Paris-based Renault has published the first official images of the all-new 2016 Mégane ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Aimed squarely at the Volkswagen Golf, the Mégane is one of Renault’s bread-and-butter models so designers were careful not to make drastic design changes. As a result, the hatchback is lower, longer, and wider than the outgoing model but its proportions stay roughly the same.

Design-wise, the new fourth-generation Mégane is markedly inspired by the Passat-sized Talisman sedan that will also make its debut in Frankfurt. It gets a more premium-looking front end with sharp headlights and a pair of LED daytime running lights that stretch well into the bumper, as well as a four-slat grille accented by an oversized Renault emblem.

When it goes on sale, the new Mégane will only be available as a four-door hatchback. A family-friendly station wagon will join the lineup a little later in the production run, but what the future holds for the sporty coupe model and the convertible is anyone’s guess at this point. Rival Opel recently confirmed plans to ax the two-door Astra because the market is shrinking, so it’s not to far-fetched to imagine the future looks grim for the Mégane coupe.

Buyers after a sportier-looking Mégane can step up to the GT trim level. Offered at launch, the GT stands out from the regular Mégane thanks to a bigger air intake up front, a new grille with honeycomb inserts, a pair of chromed tail pipes and a Formula 1-inspired spoiler. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels and a model-specific paint color called Iron Blue adds a finishing touch to the overall look.

Technical details have not been published yet. However, it’s safe to assume the fourth-gen Mégane will be offered with four- (and, possibly, three-) cylinder gasoline- and diesel-burning engines borrowed from the Renault-Nissan parts bin. A range-topping, Renaultsport-designed model with over 280 ponies under the hood will round out the lineup later in the production run.

Full details about the 2016 Renault Mégane will be published during the Frankfurt Motor Show. The hatchback will go on sale across Europe and in a host of other overseas markets in the coming months, though it goes without saying that we’re not about to see it land on our shores anytime soon.

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Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
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