06 March 2014

Shakin' that ass

A look at the second generation Renault Mégane. Out of the Méganes that have come and gone. Here's why this particular model will be the best remembered?

IF we talk of the Méganes that Renault have made since the original one arrived in 1996. I personally think that more of us will remember the second incarnation (2002-2008) of their Golf and Focus rival.

When we all talk about what makes a French car French. In my theory, they have a certain Je Ne Sais Quoi about them. They're eccentric and proud to be different. That's what makes them interesting, and that's what gives them character. Check! The Mégane certainly is one of them cars.

Why? Well it's all about that big bum. 'Oh I remember that Mégane. The one with the big ass,' you'd probably say. It divided opinion, and was something people loved or loathed about the Mégane. A big bum can be an attractive feature. Some men like women for their rears. Jennifer Lopez, Kylie Minogue, Beyonce, and Pippa Middleton are some examples to name a few.

I personally think the second generation Mégane reflects a time when Renault were bold and brave in the design of their cars. With Patrick le Quement as the company's chief designer at the time. Where they displayed some forward thinking, and dared to be different with design language displayed from Renault's cars. As well as the Mégane, the Avantime, the Vel Satis, and the original Twingo are other examples.

Mind you, there's also lots of songs about bums. Here's a rear-ly good playlist here just for travelling in this car. Yes, I will admit that some are very cheesy, and that's to be expected.

Sir Mix-a-Lot - Baby Got Back (I Like Big Butts And I Cannot Lie)*
Groove Armada - I See You Baby (Shakin' That Ass)*
Eminem - Ass Like That
Nate Dogg feat. Eminem - Shake That Ass
KC & The Sunshine Band - Shake Shake Shake (Shake Your Booty)
Mystikal - Shake Your Ass
Kylie Minogue - Spinning Around**
Cheeky Girls - Cheeky Song (Touch My Bum)
Mos Def - Ms. Fat Booty
Spinal Tap - Big Bottom
LL Cool J - Big Ole Butt
EU - Da Butt
Destiny's Child - Bootylicous
Black Eyed Peas - My Hump

*These songs were used on the commercials for the Renault Mégane.
**Alhough not technically singing about bums, but if you've seen the video of the song. You can picture Kylie in gold hot pants.

Prior to that, I do believe that French cars should be comfortable, have some idiosyncrasies with quirky innovations, redeeming features or silly gimmicks. The second generation Mégane had a rather oddball, aircraft style handbrake, and they also had them quirky key cards that was passed down from the bigger Laguna. The Mégane is also really known for its safety.

We all know Volvo use safety as a selling point for their cars, and Renault did with the Mégane for getting full marks for safety. I rightly recall that it got a five-star Euro N-Cap safety rating. That was one of the very reasons it sold well prior to the big hump it had. Many manufacturers soon cottoned onto the fact that safety sells cars.

At the end of the day, people will like to be reassured; safe in the knowledge they have a car that stands up well to a 30 mph crash. More so if they always take their loved ones on board. Cars like the Renault Mégane are often bought by people who have children. Or they'll ferry them and their elderly relatives around.

At the other end of the scale, there was the rapid 225bhp Renaultsport Méganes. For hardcore enthusiasts and Renault fans, there was the Cup version. Then there was the R26 Mégane - which was a limited edition stripped out racer.

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