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      07-22-2010, 02:42 PM   #1
Hoops
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Renaultsport R26R

Im looking for a track focused road legal toy to do UK and European track days and of course as many trips to my favourite playground, the Ring, as is humanly possible!

At the moment, top of my list is the Megane Renaultsport R26R - although ive not seen one in the flesh yet up close and certainly havent driven one. Have seen numerous ones at the Ring and they just seem to fly around there so effortlessly.

Obvious downside (apart from being a Renault!) is that its only 2 seats so it really will only be a toy.

Anyway, just wondered if anyone had any thoughts - or ideally had owned one before and let me know if it would be a good buy or not?

Thanks chaps!

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      07-22-2010, 03:52 PM   #2
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Something like a Westfield or Caterham not an option?

I worked for Renault and the closest I got to the R26R was sitting in it in the workshop, I have drove however the Renault Sport 230 & 225 and the handling was pretty dialed! Nearly brought one actually....

Focus RS (MK2) is the only thing that came close handling wise, but that was rock hard!
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      07-22-2010, 04:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J@mie View Post
Something like a Westfield or Caterham not an option?
This is where I would be looking. Have not driven a renaultsport megane (although I tried to get a test drive of the megane 230 a couple of years ago).

Having driven a track prepared renault clio cup, I would imagine similar handling from the r26r. So proper hooligan FWD hot hatchery I would reckon.

Great fun, but I reckon I would prefer a caterham.
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      07-22-2010, 05:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J@mie View Post
Something like a Westfield or Caterham not an option?
Yes and no fella - if im honest i see these 2 as even less practical than the R26R if thats possible? I also think they might be just a little too hard core for me at the moment. But i do agree they are both great cars for the track - i just imagine that the R26R will be slightly more forgiving and manageable on a daily basis (not that it would be driven daily) - and maybe more user friendly etc.

The Focus RS is still a scratch i need/want to itch but for some reason im leaning more in favour of the R26R - although im not entirely sure why??

Anyway, appreciate the thoughts chaps. Would like to hear more peoples thoughts if possible, good or bad - plus any other suggestions.
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      07-22-2010, 06:02 PM   #5
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As an early M3 E46 can be had for the same money as an R26R - isn't that a better bet for track use than an R26R?

I realise you already have one.....

Whats the budget? Z4M coupe in reach?

I know its not a key track toy consideration, but french interiors are not usually the best places to sit....
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      07-22-2010, 06:09 PM   #6
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Thinking of nicer places to sit.....

http://www.pistonheads.com/sales/1838716.htm

...this ticks that box. Are they any good on the track? Don't know, but given the design intent, they might be.

Photos of this one make it look pretty good.

http://www.pistonheads.com/sales/1870234.htm
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      07-22-2010, 06:11 PM   #7
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What about something Jap like an old evo or scoobie.

Even a very old shape but turn it into a project and set it up exactly how you want it. Highly tunable, pretty robust and can be a lot of fun.


My first choice would be what's mentioned above, even an elise or vx220 but if you need practicality as well then maybe jap saloon.


Just couldn't get into another Renault again myself.
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      07-22-2010, 06:30 PM   #8
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Not driven an R26R yet, so can't comment on that. But it is lighter than the RS, and in comparison seems to be a sweeter drive. Probably better for track work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by STEVIEHOOPS View Post
The Focus RS is still a scratch i need/want to itch but for some reason im leaning more in favour of the R26R - although im not entirely sure why??
Probably not a bad time to buy an RS now, the delayed supply that pushed up prices is over, more around and there are quite a few up for sale now with low mileage. Looking at low 20s instead of 30s last year. Cash buyers market.

Pretty sure you would need the mountune added (warranty friendly) after M3s. [You don't need the garish stripes] Same performance as the RS500, and by all acounts a very rounded package.

Still gets a lot of attention on the road, and slightly brash ... not to everyone's taste.

Caterhams are VERY, VERY extreme as a daily car, or for driving any long distance. A good friend drove with me to Le Mans in his, through thundery rain and blistering heat with the roof down - stopping frequently to fill up ... better man than me. But on the right road it is a 4 wheel motorbike, very, very rapid. Top speed limited due to low gearing and complete lack of aerodynamics.



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      07-22-2010, 07:09 PM   #9
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I've never driven an R26-R but have driven an R26 quite extensively. It's by far the most impressive hot hatch I've driven, if not the fastest. Better IMHO than the Focus RS for a multitude of reasons including driving position, steering feel, turn-in and just the overall sensation.

Although I don't pretend to be an expert, I also think it's one of the best handling cars I've ever driven, FWD or not!! Don't underestimate them in the corners!

I can only imagine an R26-R to be even better to drive if less refined...but then that won't be a concern if its mainly for track use!
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      07-23-2010, 02:32 AM   #10
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Buy a Caterham!

I test drove a Roadsport 150 a few weeks a go and loved it.

The Superlights are the hardcore ones but I could easily live with the roadsport as a track day / weekend fun car.

Plus they don't suffer much depreciation either unlike a Renault!
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      07-23-2010, 02:50 AM   #11
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what about a clio RS with the cup chassis. It became hothatch of the year. Friend of mine drove it (who races on the Ring) and he said the car is briliant and a lot of fun to drive.
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      07-23-2010, 05:24 AM   #12
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From what i've read, the R26R is a real hardcore, track focused hot hatch. Probably only more sensible than the LoCaterField choice in that it has a roof and FWD.

I'd love to have the money for a track toy - but I'd be looking at RWD all the way.
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      07-23-2010, 04:13 PM   #13
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What about a B5 Audi RS4 avant - practical and rapid, I know a customer who has one of these tuned to 600+bhp for the track....

High milers but a lot of go for 15K ish?

http://www.pistonheads.com/sales/1566239.htm
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      07-23-2010, 04:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skid View Post
Buy a Caterham!

I test drove a Roadsport 150 a few weeks a go and loved it.
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Originally Posted by parapaul View Post
I'd love to have the money for a track toy - but I'd be looking at RWD all the way.
If I had the money I would buy a caterham in a flash.

I've driven Superlights at Palmersport a couple of times and they are beyond any other car in terms of pure driving enjoyment.

http://www.palmersport.com/caterham7superlight.aspx

They are actually incredibly easy to drive.
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      07-24-2010, 02:06 PM   #15
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that focus RS looks good!...ready made track focused car...

you could also go the jap route...and get one of those rally cars ....evo x or sti...

don't know your budget, but that evo x fq400 "sounds" very fast.... ;-)
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      07-26-2010, 05:53 PM   #16
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Ironic that so few seem to give the R26R the time of day when it's actually proven itself faster than many of the offerred alternatives!!

I think the R26 is great - not driven an R!

Matt
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      07-26-2010, 05:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RagingKileak View Post
Ironic that so few seem to give the R26R the time of day when it's actually proven itself faster than many of the offerred alternatives!!

I think the R26 is great - not driven an R!

Matt
Not me Matt...I'm with you on this and rate Renaultsport products very highly. I've driven the current Clio and Megane R26 and they work very well on our roads!
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      07-27-2010, 01:34 AM   #18
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Hoops, should we take your new avatar to mean you've gone down the Focus RS route and are having it upped by Mountune to RS500 spec (345bhp)?
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      07-27-2010, 11:21 AM   #19
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Hoops, should we take your new avatar to mean you've gone down the Focus RS route and are having it upped by Mountune to RS500 spec (345bhp)?
Guess the clue was there somewhere fella wasn't it!!? Yep, collected it this morning. Im genuinely very impressed with it. About to do a little write up on her. But overall im pretty happy and could be an interesting new project for a few months. Wont be a long termer but intend to have some fun whilst it lasts!!
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      07-27-2010, 11:24 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STEVIEHOOPS View Post
Guess the clue was there somewhere fella wasn't it!!? Yep, collected it this morning. Im genuinely very impressed with it. About to do a little write up on her. But overall im pretty happy and could be an interesting new project for a few months. Wont be a long termer but intend to have some fun whilst it lasts!!
Congrats. I'm a big, big fan of the RS, so I'm genuinely interested to hear your thoughts/read your write up and see what you plan on doing over the coming weeks/months.
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      07-27-2010, 11:28 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RagingKileak View Post
Ironic that so few seem to give the R26R the time of day when it's actually proven itself faster than many of the offerred alternatives!!

I think the R26 is great - not driven an R!

Matt
Not at all - I've seen the performance figures, and they're mighty impressive. IMO, though, for driver experience, RWD has it every time.
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      07-27-2010, 11:29 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheps View Post
Congrats. I'm a big, big fan of the RS, so I'm genuinely interested to hear your thoughts/read your write up and see what you plan on doing over the coming weeks/months.
Wow, well thats pleased me to hear you are also a fan of the RS. I know im in for some stick about buying it, same as i was when i first mentioned i was thinking of ordering one when they were first announced - so wasnt expecting too many favourable comments!! I do understand the resistance but even i was pleasantly surprised when i finally got to drive it "properly" today!! Thanks Sheps!!
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