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The next-generation Renault Megane RS has once again been tipped to feature a smaller, more efficient engine that will replace the current 2.0 litre four-pot turbo unit. It is said that the current engine has reached its “developmental potential,” and that the car maker may have to look elsewhere for new power.

Drive reports that the next-generation Megane RS that will be based on the Megane IV (pictured here) may adopt the smaller 1.6 litre four-pot turbo engine that currently serves in the Clio RS. The idea was given life by Renault Sport’s vice president of sales, marketing and communication, Regis Fricotte, at the recent launch of the current Megane in Portugal.

Speaking to attending media there, Fricotte said thats its 2.0 litre engine “was good in terms of what it could do in an RS, but it is an engine that is not suitable for further development in terms of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.”

Fricotte sees no issue with the Megane RS using a smaller displacement engine, saying that, “we have never had a car with the biggest engine. So what? We still have the record at the Nurburgring.” He was referring to the Megane RS 275 Trophy R’s record for being the fastest front-wheel drive car to lap the the infamous Nordschleife circuit.

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The Renault Sport VP made no mention as to whether future RS models would offer more power than what is currently available, but stressed that power is not the key to its models’ success. He said, “with all the previous Megane RS variants, we have shown that power does not make the best car. Your engine output is part of the equation but not everything.”

With the next Megane RS said to be a five-door model only, Fricotte suggested that the additional doors wouldn’t prevent the brand from exploring several variants of the car, including a Trophy R version.

On the matter, he told reporters at the event that, “it makes it a bit awkward on a five-door if you take out the rear seats, I agree with that. But apart from that, a Trophy R is all about weight reduction and optimisation of the performance, brakes, engine and gearbox. So, the fact that it is not a three-door doesn’t restrict us technically at all.”

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Fricotte also suggested that based on the positive sales performance of the Clio RS, the Megane RS may also feature a dual-clutch automatic transmission exclusively, instead of its adored six-speed manual. However, while its competitors continue to adopt all-wheel drive systems, the Megane RS would continue to rely on a front-wheel drive chassis.

He concluded by saying that, ”I think eventually it will create some questions about how to transfer the engine power to the road, and when you are around 300 hp it becomes a bit tricky. So, eventually in many, many years it will be an issue but we can still improve on where we are. Our expertise is in the chassis.”

With the way things are shaping up, it looks like the coming Megane RS may be quite the different animal to what it currently is. How would you feel about the car adopting a smaller engine and more importantly, a sole dual-clutch automatic transmission option? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

GALLERY: Renault Megane IV