Renault must have a fair idea what Francis Ford Coppola felt like when making The Godfather Part II. Or the pressure Radiohead were under while writing the follow-up to OK Computer.
Yes, the predecessor to this Renault Megane RS was undoubtedly one of the greatest hot hatches ever. So, the job of designing and building its successor must have been daunting in the extreme.
It’s not just the past that the latest car has to live up to, either; there are a host of extremely talented rivals that buyers can choose from. The Honda Civic Type R, our 2019 Hot Hatch of the Year, is at the front of that queue, but the Megane RS also needs to face off the Hyundai i30N and Volkswagen Golf R.
To help it do just that Renault has used everything in its arsenal, including four-wheel steering to improve agility and the sort of sophisticated suspension you’d usually expect on a rally car. Meanwhile, under the bonnet lives a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine that’s shared with the Alpine A110 sports car.
If you prefer your hot hatches fast and fun yet still easy to live with, the regular Megane RS is aimed squarely at you. But if you think a great hot hatch should be about maximum thrills whatever the consequences, the stiffer, more focused Cup chassis could be an option box you should tick.
The Trophy version, meanwhile, sits at the top of the Megane RS tree, with more power, larger brakes, slightly less weight and the Cup chassis as standard.
In this review, we’ll tell you about all three versions, how they compare with their rivals and what you should consider before buying. And if your interest is piqued, head over to our New Car Buying pages to see how much we could save you.