Renault Megane R26R - Forza Horizon 4 - Short Review
The extreme OG
I've never liked Fortnite or flossing or any of those things so to lock a new French hatchback behind Forza Eliminator would be a real test of my patience. And whilst I still enjoyed the experience more than I care to admit, the real reason I persevered so much is the reputation this car has.
Remember that big financial crash in 2008 where everywhere ran out of money? Sounds like the worst time possible to launch an ultra-hardcore hatchback with no back seats, a roll-cage and perspex glass to save weight. I bet there were more than a few sweat palms for Renault when they launched the R26R into the market in 2008. So what we have here is an ultra-hardcore hatchback with no daily usability launched during a time where no-one could buy anything worth any money.
It makes no apology for its intention, the exposed carbon fibre, big stickers and red wheels don't exactly present it as a retiring car. There is no way you can lose this car in a supermarket carpark but don't expect the curtain-twitching neighbours to invite you to many barbecues with this parked outside your house.
All the aforementioned bits aren't just for show, there is real intent from this car. It weights a staggering 123 kg less than a regular Megane even with a full roll-cage. It had full six-point harnesses, no radio and full bucket seats. All in the name of speed. This car blistered the fwd lap-record at the Nurburgring and is designed to be as brilliant a track car as possible. The inside of the Megane is a very French take on a 911 GT3 RS, there is nothing excess about the dashboard, looking as plain as a dinner cooked by Ned Flanders.
The Megane reacts well to driving quickly, it gets tighter and more focused the more aggressive you are with the car. The chassis is a real highpoint of the Megane, as stiff and composed as I think possible. It regularly lifts a rear wheel through corners as the front end remains totally glued to the tarmac leaving the rear wheels to play catchup. The way the Megane grips is mesmerising, managing to grip no matter the speed. The engine has plenty of grunt on the road, pulling nicely. When testing on a circuit however it can begin to feel underwhelming.
I think the car only ever feels slow on a track is that the chassis is so sorted and balanced that until you look and see the speeds the Megane can command, you think you're doing 30. Understeer rarely sneaks through under even hard cornering but even so, the Megane has amazing steering adjustability and can scrub off excess speed with ease.
This is an utterly amazing car, possibly the best fwd car in the entire game. Balanced and punchy it is well worth subjecting yourself to a couple of games of the eliminator. Also it ticks the box as being a more left-field choice of car, a car for real enthusiasts.
An excellent fwd track machine