When we talk about high-performance hot hatches, only few come to mind. These few include the Volkswagen Golf and Scirocco R, the Ford Focus RS, the Mazda 3 MPS and as the title suggests, the Renault Megane RS 250 Cup. Just like its competitors, the RS 250 is often referred to as a hot hatch which you can drive to work on the weekdays and at the same time, something which you can bring to Sepang on the weekends and practice your driving lines :)

Under the hood lies a 2.0 litre 4-pot turbocharged (twin-scroll) unit which has over 25% of new parts compared to its predecessor. 0 – 100 km/h can be achieved in 6.1 seconds with a top speed of 245 km/h. As highlighted in the “250” designation of this French beauty, it makes 250 hp at 5,500 rpm at-crank and 340 Nm of torque at 3,000 rpm with 80% of it available from 1,900 rpm. Or does it?

There are two ways to look at horsepower. One is at-crank (direct output from the engine) or on-wheel (horsepower measured on-wheel after transmission losses). The latter would naturally be lower than at-crank and auto makers use the former in the spec sheets. Most of the time, it is very hard for an owner to get similar horsepower figures when they carry out their own dyno tests. The conditions have to be right and the right fuel has to be used. So, you can safely say that most of the numbers are slightly optimistic.

Interestingly, with the Renault Megane RS 250 Cup, it’s the other way around. We were recently at a dyno session where the RS 250 was being tested, and it turns out that the RS 250 can actually give you an on-wheel horsepower figure that is almost similar as the at-crank figure showed in the brochure! The demo vehicle used in the video is an all-original unit, with no modifications whatsoever and it was used for media as well as customer test drives by Tan Chong Euro Cars and the vehicle has already clocked 25,000 kilometers.

During a test at GT Auto in Sunway, using RON97 fuel, the car actually achieved 248 hp and 355 Nm of torque on-wheel. After a simple math work, we managed to come up with an equivalent at-crank figure of approximately 295 hp which is almost similar to the at-crank number of the Ford Focus RS! The 295 hp number was derived from the 16% transmission loss calculation (from crank to wheels). Now we all know that the actual numbers will run off a little, but 45 hp is no joke.

Furthermore, reliable sources have confirmed that higher on-wheel horsepower figures were also achieved in two other units (you can view the dyno charts in the gallery). It was also said that the Renault Sport cars are tuned to work well in various climate conditions and ambient temperature. These sportier Renaults can also run on RON 95 fuel and the engines are built on a mass production line and that slight variances in horsepower from one engine to another is common.

It was also said that due to the slight differences, Renault Sport is being rather conservative with the published figures. Moreover, tests were also carried out overseas and these tests also confirmed that the RS 250 actually produces more power than promised. EVO UK also carried one out and they learned that their RS 250 media car recorded 270hp at-crank. You can check out the video here.

Other than a power mill with interesting figures, the Megane RS 250 comes with a sports-tuned chassis and suspension setting which helps give it its sharp maneuverability and chuckability, with comfort still in mind although there is a hint of acceptable stiffness to it. Suspension features include a 10mm lowered chassis as well as uprated dampers, springs and anti-roll bars.

Strong stopping power is also vital for a vehicle of such nature and this is provided by Brembo. The front wheels tease 340 mm vented and slotted discs along with 4-pot calipers. The brake tune strikes a good balance of stopping power and reliability in terms of maintaining brake pressure even during demanding driving scenarios such as pushing the car’s limits on the track.

No fancy or sophisticated dual-clutch transmissions here, just a good old, precisely weighted six-speed cog box which works well in shifting gears. All you need to do is acquire the skills of heel and toe, a dying art if you ask me, to ensure smoother shifting. There is also a mechanical LSD working in the background. Overall, the RS 250 retails for RM229,800 OTR without insurance and with that additional 45 hp, it gives the RS 250 better value for money.

If you want to learn more about the Renault Megane RS 250 Cup, you can read a full test drive review right here.