Renaultsport reclaims FWD Nurburgring lap record

16 Jun, 2014 9:00am Luke Madden

The Renaultsport Megane 275R has taken back the front-wheel-drive Nurburgring record from SEAT's Leon Cupra

Renault's motorsport division, Renaultsport, has snatched back the front-wheel-drive Nurburgring lap record with a new model called the Megane 275 Trophy-R.

It posted a time of 7 minutes, 54.36 seconds to beat the previous record – set in March by the SEAT Leon Cupra – by 4.04 seconds. It also beat the old Megane 265 Trophy by around 14 seconds.

The new model is based on the recently unveiled Megane 275 Trophy, but is 100kg lighter. Weight is saved through the use of lighter front seats, plus the removal of sound deadening, the back seats, the air-con and the radio. You can add the latter two features as no-cost options. Composite springs knock a further 2kg from the kerbweight.

This extreme weight loss is similar to that seen on the last-generation Megane R26.R, which also featured a strut brace in place of the rear seats. As with that car you can get proper racing bucket seats with six-point harnesses. The Megane R26.R did hold the Nurburgring front-wheel-drive lap record in 2008, when it put in a time of 8 minutes 17 seconds.

Thanks to the crash diet, Renault is saying that the 271bhp Megane Trophy-R will be able to hit 62mph in 5.8 seconds. Fuel consumption remains the same as in the standard Trophy, though, standing at 37.7mpg.

The new model comes with Ohlins adjustable dampers and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres as standard; both are options on the Trophy. The dampers can be adjusted using a knob on the instrument cluster, with 20 positions for the front and 30 for the rear. There’s also a titanium Akrapovic exhaust.

The record-breaking Renault that actually completed the lap was fitted with bigger brakes and a lithium-ion battery, saving 16kg. Buyers can fit these to their car, too.

To mark their Trophy-R out, buyers can opt for the two-tone paintjob in our pictures. The alloys are usually black, but can be finished in red as an option.

The Trophy-R starts at £36,430, with first deliveries in October.

Find out more about the fastest Nurburgring lap times here. Or read our interview with the man who drove the Megane Renaultsport Trophy-R to its record lap.

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Long live the fwd king

How bloody stupid. Any manufacturer could win it by stripping out the cabin! I'm pretty sure a Seat dealer would throw everything in the bin for you if you asked!

Good for Renault on reclaiming the Ring (FWD) record after losing it briefly to Seat.
Renault should celebrate by giving the Clio RS - what it always deserved - a manual gearbox!

im sorry what is the point in this record if it is different from the production model?

It is a marketing exercise designed to impress the thickies who can't see straight through it.

I am very VERY bored with Nordschleife times now.

£36.5k for a Megane? Suckers.

The gripes are misplaced. Any weight saving will be transferred to the production model without compromising road going comfort. The RS deserves its reputation as probably the best hot hatch around. Indisputably the best driver's hot hatch, combined with great looks,practicality( I have taken 5 adults to Western France with luggage),30+ mpg, and now the Nurbergring record.

For this money you could have a much faster Merc A45 AMG or save a bit and get a faster Golf R.

Yes, but being the best hot hatch is like being the best dog tured.

Seat set their record with uprated dampers & other 'track biased' options which are available to the public to spec. ;-)

All of the tweaks have to be made available as either standard features or cost/no-cost options for the record to stand. All of these options will be available to the public. I would suggest that you read articles more carefully.

Yes, NS lap times are not really THAT relevant to us mere mortals.
I mean, what difference does 4 seconds over a (circa) 13 mile course make, anyway!