The Renault Megane RS has been voted the “Best Hot Hatch” in Singapore by a panel of 11 judges at the 2018 ST-Torque Awards.
Compared to the previous Megane RS, the latest model has a smaller but more powerful engine (turbocharged 1.8-litre versus turbocharged 2-litre).
It now delivers 280hp and 390Nm, or 15hp and 30Nm more than before.
This enables this Gallic contender to outsprint the VW Golf GTI to 100km/h by 0.6 of a second, clocking 5.8 seconds in a rush.
The older Megane RS was also only available with a 6-speed manual, but the current model has a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox for the first time.
More significantly, the Megane RS is also the first in the hot hatch segment with rear-wheel-steering fitted as standard.
Torque‘s legal eagle, Edric Pan, said: “Probably the car I was looking forward most to driving in 2018, the Renault Megane RS didn’t disappoint.”
“Boasting a chassis with class-first rear-wheel steer, the RS is incredible agile, darting into turns at absurd speeds with perceptible turn-in assistance from the back axle.”
“The acoustically-enhanced engine is mighty and sounds great, and the car just looks so right – wide, squat and intensely purposeful without resorting to over-wrought wings and spoilers like some of its more desperately styled rivals.”
Fellow lawyer and Torque contributor Sarjeet Singh added: “Volkswagen Golf GTI buyers should also be considering the Megane RS because it comes with four doors and does the century sprint 0.6 of a second quicker than its German rival.”
“But compared to the more obliging GTI, Renault’s hot hatch is no pushover. It will remind you who’s in charge if you push it too hard.”