In a season with such an all-star lineup as Season 17, the new Renault Mégane RS could be seen to be the lame duck. It doesn't have the same iconic status as the others and to some won't be a priority to nab one. Yet the Mégane RS is designed to be an ideal car for Forza Horizon 4, a brand new performance hatchback designed to put a smile on your face and compete with the ludicrous Honda Civic Type R.

Making use of the Alpine A110's (more on that next week) 1.8 litre turbo engine, there is plenty of power on offer, building nicely as the revs rise. There is no noticeable turbo-lag from the Mégane just plenty of acceleration. The car also uses a 7 speed semi-auto gearbox which works flawlessly in the car.

Car can easily lift a rear wheel when cornering exuberantly

Car can easily lift a rear wheel when cornering exuberantly

One thing which I was obsessed with when first driving the Mégane was checking to see if the rear wheels moved as part of Renault's 4-control system. All manner of steering adjustments both stationary and moving where tried but alas it simply was not modelled. A big disappointment for a very special part of the Mégane. Yet, even with the visually non-existent four wheel steering, the Mégane offers unprecedented agility. On any corner you can feel the unison between the front and rear, making the car feel like it has a tiny yet stable wheelbase. In short it's brilliant. I find there is always an exaggeration of weight with four wheel steering and the Mégane is no different. Despite not being that heavy the Mégane does feel heavier than it should but thanks to the added agility, it makes for an altogether brilliant handling experience.

On tighter corners you are unable to carry as much speed as you would like without the dreaded french disease, understeer throwing the front end wide. Partly, I blame the softer suspension but the there is also a strong feeling of body roll, it exposes a heaviness the car shouldn't feel. If you scrub enough speed off using the brilliant brakes then the Mégane corners brilliantly, darting through corners, the rear end gracefully pulled by the front in total harmony. Play with your throttle application and you can get deliciously addictive lift-off oversteer just like in a Peugeot 205 GTI, albeit a bit softer.

I think the Mégane RS is better than the Honda Civic Type R to drive. It may not be as fast or focused but has buckets more charisma. The next step is the Nurburgring special with those carbon-fibre wheels!

Feels heavier and softer than other hot hatchbacks but is rewarding to drive

Rear of Mégane is understated

Rear of Mégane is understated

Chunky steering wheel dominates an otherwise dull interior

Chunky steering wheel dominates an otherwise dull interior

Car rarely suffers from understeer despite soft set up

Car rarely suffers from understeer despite soft set up

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