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.
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.