Renault Megane R26.R
While Ford and other companies were competing in the horsepower wars, Renault, the hot hatch authority, went the other way. In fact, they constructed light, nimble and extremely capable cars that were almost track-ready. They introduced the sublime R26.R in 2009. The Megane R26.R had the same 2.0-liter turbo engine with 230 HP as the regular Megane RS.
But, it was much lighter with a revised suspension, steering and brakes. Also, the Megane didn’t have rear seats and they replaced the window glass with Plexiglas. The Megane R26.R was almost a racing car, as it handled sublimely and posted unbelievable track times. It held a record for front-wheel drive cars on Nurburgring and beat the Porsche Boxster.
And the Megane was faster than the BMW M3 CSL. Despite its limited production, this Megane earned a place on this list as one of the best driver’s cars in the hot hatch class. This car proves that record-breaking performance doesn’t always require high horsepower ratings.