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French carmaker Renault has used the Australian International Motor Show to take the wraps off a host of new models it intends to help boost its retail presence in Australia.

At its impressive stand in the Sydney Exhibition Centre, the marque took the wraps off its new Mégane hatch, its very attractive Mégane Coupé-Cabriolet, its Mégane 250 Coupé (by Renault Sport), and its new Fluence sedan.

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Set to compete with the Mazda 3 and VW Golf, the Mégane hatch will logically give Renaults its best sales results of the new bunch.

Affordably priced from AU$25,990 drive away, the new-generation Mégane hatch will be available in two forms.

Renault Mégane Privilege A six-speed manual-transmission Dynamique model offers a 2-litre 4-cylinder engine giving 102kW of power, with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) auto option coming in a $2,000 dearer. The higher-end Privilege version (pictured, available in auto only) tops the list at $5,000 more expensive.

The Mégane hatch comes fitted with an assortment of gadgets not usually made available in the hatch market, including Bluetooth® connectivity and keyless entry. Other standard features include ABS, electronic stability, auto headlamps and wipers, cruise control, and 16-inch alloy wheels.

The Privilege model offers additions such an an electronic sunroof, leather and chrome trimmings, dual-zone climate control, reverse parking sensors, integrated GPS navigation and 17-inch alloys.

The car shape itself has undergone a further redesign from its predecessor, with reduced body roll being a significant improvement.

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The folding hardtop Mégane Coupé-Cabriolet is hoped to provide convertible fans with an affordable option for this high-demand market sector.

Mégane Coupé-Cabriolet One key feature is its black glass roof – capable of folding away in just 21 seconds – which is in some ways a visual throwback to the days of the folding vinyl roofs.

Renault has particularly concentrated on acoustics – one of the banes of owning a drop-top car – and brought in a host of tweaks to reduce idling noise and the traditional squeaks and rattles that come with the territory of a convertible car.

Powered by the same powerplant as found in the Mégane Hatch, the Coupé-Cabriolet version will only be equipped with the automatic CVT.

In comparison to its preceding model, the new Coupé-Cabriolet has a longer wheelbase, but significantly improved rigidity and road-holding by dint of stiffer springs, anti-roll bars and dampers.

The Mégane Coupé-Cabriolet hits the dealers at the beginning of November, priced at AU$45,990 plus on-road costs.

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The beautiful Renault Sport Mégane 250 Coupé is the most attractive of the range, in our opinion, not least of which is due to its eye-catching styling.

Powered by a 250bhp, 184kW turbocharged engine, the 250 Coupé is also equipped with Brembo brakes and a limited slip differential. It gives a standing 0-100km/h start in a relatively brisk 6.1 seconds.

Renault Sport Mégane 250 Coupé Two versions – the ‘Cup’ and ‘Cup Trophee’ – will be available for sale from the beginning of November, with a starting price of AU$41,990 plus on-road costs.

Featuring a host of dynamic, sweeping lines and a low-slung nose, the car casts an assertive presence, supported by wide wheel arches, 18-inch alloys and central rear diffuser.

One of the nifty features on the new 250 Coupé are Renault’s Sport Dynamic Management system, which allows the driver to choose the desired degree of electronic aid provided in the car’s ESP and traction control, and the Sport Monitor, which allow drivers to collect and log telemetry data, and modify pedal mapping settings.

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Renault’s Fluence sedan is expected to be a high seller alongside the Mégane hatch and Koleos SUV, particularly given its drive-away price tag of AU$25,990.

Renault Fluence Like the Mégane hatch, the car will be made available in the Dynamique (with manual and CVT auto options) and Privilege (CVT auto only) versions.

One of the biggest and most specious in the small-sedan category, the Fluence is equipped with a veritable host of features as standard, and mirroring that of its Mégane hatch counterpart.

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For more information and tickets sales for the Australian International Motor Show, click here.

[Original images via Renault Australia]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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