Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
Illustration for article titled French Friday: Le seigneur des Anneaux. Avec Traction Avant!

I never was a fan of the second generation Renault Mégane. And then Renault totally made up for designing a car with a dormer on it’s back. Because they had the Dieppe branch (the former Alpine-factory) make the top of the line hatch, the Mégane RS. For Renault Sport. Bien sûr.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Le seigneur des Anneaux. Avec Traction Avant!

And the RS had quite some alterations in it’s life. Introduced in 2004 there was a Phase Deux update early 2006 already. And immediately a special edition was added, the one you see here. The 2005 Formula 1 season was a huge success for Renault: Le Régie won both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships that year.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Le seigneur des Anneaux. Avec Traction Avant!

It was called the Renault F1 Team, of course a série limitée. Only available in this staggering Bleu Alpine. No real technical updates, merely visual goodies. Side mirrors in Dark Anthracite, striping on bumpers and glossy 18" wheels. Inside the seats were from Recaro in two colors: black and blue.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Le seigneur des Anneaux. Avec Traction Avant!

But this wasn’t quite enough for Renault. Because within a year they started the marketing campaign for... The Megane RS Renault F1 Team R26. A slightly more powerful version. That R26 was a reference to the 2006 Renault F1 car, the R26. And from that moment on the one displayed here was actually called the R25 in certain communities.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Le seigneur des Anneaux. Avec Traction Avant!
Illustration for article titled French Friday: Le seigneur des Anneaux. Avec Traction Avant!
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Enough reason for Otto-mobile, the manufacturer of this 1/18, to market it as the R25 as well. And enough reason for Renault to create yet another special edition of the R26 special edition: The R26.R. This time they really out-did themselves in Dieppe because that one was track-oriented (leaving out the backseats and other “useless” stuff led to a weight-loss of 123 kgs!) to the bone. And therefor became the Lord of the Ring.

Illustration for article titled French Friday: Le seigneur des Anneaux. Avec Traction Avant!
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Renault Sport took a R26.R to the Nordschleife on the 23rd of June 2008. And with a laptime of 8:16.90 it set the record for FWD production cars. Which created quite a stir as many competitors felt Renault Sport had just acted a bit fraudulent by bringing a car that was totally different than 99,9% of the normal Mégane production-line.

Illustration for article titled French Friday: Le seigneur des Anneaux. Avec Traction Avant!
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Just to make clear how quick it was: It would have beaten a 2009 Porsche Cayman S. It would have had beaten all kinds of M-cars from an earlier era (an E46 M3 needed 8:22). An Audi S5 needed at least 10 seconds extra. Impressive stuff if you ask me.

Illustration for article titled French Friday: Le seigneur des Anneaux. Avec Traction Avant!
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All Mégane RS’s use the F4RT, the top-version of Renault’s F-Type engine. Hard to believe that Renault introduced the F-Type 3 decades ago already. They kept on bringing it up to date and the 1,998cc F4RT comes with a 16valve head, twin cams, Multipoint EFI and a twin scroll Mitsubishi turbo. By default the F4RT does between 160 and 190hp but Renault Sport gets another 35 hp out of it.

Illustration for article titled French Friday: Le seigneur des Anneaux. Avec Traction Avant!
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This is Otto Mobile’s OT575, as said sold as the Renault Megane R25 F1 Team. It’s 1/18 in scale, no opening parts. So you’ll have to excuse me for not showing to much details of that awesome interior. All I can give you are these shots that reveal it a bit.

Illustration for article titled French Friday: Le seigneur des Anneaux. Avec Traction Avant!
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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Le seigneur des Anneaux. Avec Traction Avant!

Androoo complained about Otto’s packaging and I must admit: he’s right. The Sport Spider I showed in LaLD Car Week wasn’t as bad but the Mégane was covered in bits of styrofoam as well. Probably a less good batch of styrofoam or different storage/age. Otto does pack ‘m in plastic within the styrofoam shells so it should be that bad but there’s a hole in the plastic to leave room for the antenna. This was what it was when I got it out.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Le seigneur des Anneaux. Avec Traction Avant!

Just zoom in and you’ll see what I mean. It tells me I need more time for shooting an Otto for just cleaning up the model a bit. Then again: I really love these Ottos, their details and line up is totally on par, so who am I to complain.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Le seigneur des Anneaux. Avec Traction Avant!

And I’m glad I got a few of these 1/18s as they really are different to shoot anyway. I definitely am going to need a bigger lightbox if I’m getting more.

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Le seigneur des Anneaux. Avec Traction Avant!

C’est ca pour aujourd’hui! I’m curious if we can maintain the pace of last few French Fridays as I feel we got quite some extra support on French Friday lately. Which is awesome. Maintenir cette bon travail. Bon Week-End!

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Illustration for article titled French Friday: Le seigneur des Anneaux. Avec Traction Avant!

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