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This Renaultsport Megane R26.R is a lightweight limited-edition hot hatch hero, with a detailed service history and a selection of desirable factory options. Under the bonnet is the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which produces 227bhp at 5,500rpm, driving the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential – resulting in a 0-60mph time of just six seconds and a top speed of 147mph.

Featuring the improved Cup chassis, powerful Brembo brakes, and sports exhaust of the standard R26 model, the R26.R version had much of its cabin equipment stripped away. The rear seats and retracting belts were removed, as were the passenger and curtain airbags, heated rear screen, headlight washers, stereo system, and most of the soundproofing. It was also fitted with recalibrated shock absorbers and uprated coil springs.

The bonnet was fabricated from carbon-fibre, while the rear screen and quarter windows were polycarbonate. In lieu of the Recaro items, it was fitted with carbon-fibre Sabelt bucket seats with six-point harnesses. The outcome was a focused, lightweight hot hatchback which is widely celebrated to this day, with Evo Magazine’s Henry Catchpole describing it as “a tarmac rally car that you can buy from a showroom”.

Only 230 of the 450 cars produced were destined for the UK, with this example being number 58 of those UK cars. First registered on 1 March 2009, it was specified with the air-conditioning system added back in for additional comfort, and the highly desirable optional titanium exhaust system, which was a £2,250 extra. This R26.R’s logbook shows just three prior keepers.

The car’s bodywork is in excellent condition and is free of dents, with the seller stating that they do not believe it has ever suffered from any damage. The original Glacier White paintwork presents very well, and although there are a few marks, including some small stone chips in front of the rear wheel arches and a slight scuff to the rear bumper, it is in great overall condition.

There is a slight scuff to the car’s rear decal and some swirl marks visible on the bonnet decals, but otherwise the signature red and silver markings are in good order. The carbon-fibre bonnet is in great shape, with no chips in the lacquer. The seller notes that there is some slight delamination to one of the lightweight polycarbonate rear quarter windows. This R26.R still rides on its original 18-inch Interlagos alloys, finished in Capsicum Red, which are in good overall condition – though have some previously touched-in marks on the nearside wheels.

Looking to the interior, the pared-back cabin is in very good order, with little wear to the carbon-fibre Sabelt seats’ fabric upholstery. The original red six-point harnesses are also still fitted and present very well, some small marks on the seat-backs are noted as being caused by the buckles, while their adjusting fixtures have marred the bases of the seat brackets.

Elsewhere, the interior has only minor signs of wear, with small marks being visible on the driver’s side sill cover and centre console, but the usual touchpoints such as the steering wheel and gear lever are in good order. All of the switches and electrical items work correctly, and the factory-fitted air-conditioning system still blows cold.

An already impressive vehicle, this R26.R has also been subtly upgraded with a custom remap by Renault tuning specialists K-Tec Racing (KTR) and a de-catted exhaust section. Its most recent scheduled maintenance was also carried out by KTR on 17 March 2020 at 31,928 miles, and included replacement of the cambelt, engine oil, coolant, brake fluid and spark plugs, as well as the fitment of a new bottom pulley. Previously, KTR performed oil change services in June 2019 at 31,474 miles and August 2018 at 27,976 miles.

Other recent maintenance carried out has included replacement of the offside window regulator and motor in April 2020 and the fitment of genuine replacement Renault front struts, plus brake discs and pads, in April 2019. There is some slight oil misting from the cam cover and around the offside driveshaft seal, however these issues only require monitoring at present.

This R26.R’s last MOT test was conducted on 7 June 2019 at 30,596 miles. It received a first-time pass, with only one advisory notice for a slight exhaust leak behind the catalytic converter. While a de-cat exhaust section is currently fitted, the original will also be supplied with the car. Given the six-month extension for Covid-19, the certificate is valid until 7 December 2020.

All four of the tyres were replaced in 2018 with road-legal but semi-slick Nankang NS-2R items in size 225/40 ZR18. They are all still in good condition, with 4-5mm of tread remaining. Accompanying the car are its two key-cards, handbook, service book with 11 stamps, additional R26.R handbook, original sale brochure and boxed presentation pack.

This Renaultsport Megane R26.R is a single-minded and uncompromising limited-edition hot hatch, which is as capable on the road as it is on the track. Presented in very good condition and routinely serviced by specialist mechanics, it is ready to thrill its next owner, whether at track-day events or on the road.

Summary of service history:

  • 01/03/2010. 7420 miles. Toomey Renault.
  • 03/06/2011. 12,719 miles. Toomey Renault.
  • 30/06/2012. 15,121 miles. Diamond Motors.
  • 01/06/2013. 17,004 miles. Diamond Motors.
  • 14/05/2014. 18,959 miles. Diamond Motors.
  • 11/05/2015. 22,382 miles. Diamond Motors. Cambelt.
  • 16/06/2016. 24,309 miles. Diamond Motors.
  • 07/06/2017. 26,368 miles. K-Tec Racing.
  • 07/07/2018. 27,976 miles. K-Tec Racing.
  • 12/07/2019. 31,474 miles. K-Tec Racing.
  • 17/03/2020. 31,928 miles. K-Tec Racing. Cambelt.

All cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

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