The leaderboard among hot hatches for the Nurburgring lap record is changing aplenty at the moment – and the new Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy-R, unveiled today, has raised the bar again.
It packs everything Renaultsport knows about hot hatchery into one tuned Megane RS. Think of the new RS 275 Trophy-R as the GT3 of Meganes, thanks to a 2.0-litre turbo tuned to 271bhp (275ps in metric, hence the name) and a crash diet stripping 100kg from its kerb weight for the sake of spicier performance and better handling.
The Trophy-R weighs now 1280kg, while the regular Trophy tips the scales at 1381kg. Knowing how good a regular Megane RS is, this makes for a pretty mouth-watering proposition…
Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy-R and the #UNDER8 challenge
Renaultsport has been kept busy for the past few months preparing its riposte to Seat, which snitched top spot when the Leon Cupra lapped the Nurburgring in 7min 58.4sec.
However, the reign of the Latino hot hatch was short lived because on 15 May 2014 at 7.15 am the Megane RS 275 Trophy-R stopped the clocks in 7min 54.36sec, a whole four seconds faster than the Cupra’s time, making it the fastest front wheel drive production vehicle that lapped the Green Hell.
Laurent Hurgon, the Renaultsport test driver broke the record under mixed weather conditions, according to Renault.
The Megane RS 275 Trophy-R hardware
A two-tone paintjob can be specified on the outside while the standard black 19-inch Speedline Turini wheels can be ordered in red, matching the colour of the front splitter and motorsport decals.
But of more interest than the cosmetic tweaks are the new Ohlins adjustable dampers, front composite springs by Allenvard, a new, lightweight Akrapovic titanium exhaust system and a set of super-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. If you combine these with the standard limited slip differential, you realise that the Megane RS 275 Trophy-R has proper weapon written all over it.
Weight Watchers: RenaultSport edition
The strict diet that the Trophy-R had to go through meant that most of the insulating materials are gone (saving 18kg), the rear bench had to be removed saving 20kg, while the deletion of the air-con and radio drops the scales by another 10kg.
Sound too hardcore for you? The air-con, radio and the Renault R-Link onboard multimedia system will be still available as options. A pair of beautiful, single-piece Recaro composite seats save another 22kg and even the rear wiper has been thrown away in order to save one more kilo.
The weight-saving list goes on… Renaultsport will offer an optional Performance braking kit (larger discs, 3kg lighter) and a lithium-ion battery which saves another 16kg.
The deletion of the rear seats meant that now there is space for a cross strut bar and Renault says ‘track enthusiasts will appreciate the boot layout, designed to make it easy to carry four spare wheels’. Now that’s what we call a direct product placement.
Read about CAR magazine's Renaultsport Megane long-term test review here.