These are the first official images of the all-new Renault Megane, revealed ahead of the car’s debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week.

The all-new Megane is a crucial car for Renault. The current generation of the perennial Focus/Golf fighter is getting rather long in the tooth and losing ground to more modern opposition. The mid-size hatchback market is difficult in Europe at the moment, but Peugeot has shown with the latest 308 that it is possible to revive flagging sales. If the product is right.

First impressions are good. The Megane shares it’s styling themes and ‘face’ with the bigger Talisman. It certainly looks a lot more distinctive than the out-going model, and much classier.

That last point is important. One of the key’s to Peugeot’s success with the 308 is that it has been lifted upmarket. Renault is attempting to pull the same trick. It starts outside with confident styling, garnished with strategically-placed metal trim, and continues inside with higher quality materials and cleaner dashboard design.

The dashboard is expected to centre around a large tablet-like touchscreen, which will control many of the car’s functions on models further up the range.

The new Megane is based Renault-Nissan’s CMF-D platform, which also underpins the Nissan Qashqai and Renault Kadjar. Details on the powertrains available will be announced in due course, but expect the usual range of small-capacity, turbocharged petrol engines and turbo diesels.

From launch, the range will be topped by a GT model which, says Renault, is “inspired” by Renaultsport. Speaking of which, there’s no word yet on the next Renaultsport Megane, or, indeed, if there will be a replacement for the current three-door coupe body. An estate, though, is inevitable.

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By Only Motors