In an effort to outdo Ford and their soon to be launched Focus RS, Renault launched the new Mégane R26.R today at the British Motor Show. With the next generation Megane III expected to make it's world debut in Paris this September, Renault is giving it once last charge with a sporty lightweight version, hoping it will give the outgoing Megane a boost in sales.

The car is more track car than road car and will be restricted to only 450, with some 250 units destined for the UK. The Mégane R26.R uses the same engine, gearbox and limited slip differential, but has been lightened by 123kg and features specific suspension calibration. The result is a new lap record for its category around the legendary Nürburgring in Germany with a time of 8m 17s.

Identifiable externally not only by the graphics, the Mégane R26.R also receives a varnished carbon bonnet, 18-inch wheels, new spoiler.

Inside, the cabin includes the use of leather and suede for the steering wheel and gear lever plus a production number plaque. It is also equipped with Sabelt bucket seats and harness belts, and can be ordered with an optional four-point roll-cage.

For the weight loss programme the R26.R lost its rear seats, airbags, climate control, rear wiper and wash system, foglamps, headlamp washers and a majority of soundproofing material. Additionally the use of other lightweight components include the carbon bonnet, polycarbonate quarter glass and rear screen and carbon seat shells with aluminium frame.

The Mégane R26.R goes on sale this October with limited availability in Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Spain and Germany. The price is currently rumored to be £22,900. Please form an orderly queue on the left.