Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R sets new record at Suzuka

Renault's Megane Trophy-R has broken the front-wheel-drive production car record at Suzuka Circuit by more than three seconds

The Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R has broken the front-wheel-drive production car lap record at Suzuka Circuit in Japan, with a time of 2:25.454 minutes. The French brand’s range-topping hot hatchback beat the previous front-wheel-drive record holder by a margin of three seconds.

Shortly after its launch, the Megane R.S. Trophy-R claimed the Nurburgring lap record for a front-wheel-drive production car, with a time of 7:40.100 minutes. It snatched the record from the Honda Civic Type R in May of this year, also beating it by a margin of three seconds.

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The Trophy-R is powered by the same turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as the Megane R.S 300 Trophy (albeit with a freer-flowing Akrapovic exhaust), producing 296bhp and 400Nm of torque. The engine feeds its power to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, offering a 0–62mph time of 5.4 seconds and a top speed of 163mph.

Renault’s engineers have thrown a total of 130kg of weight out of the Megane’s interior, chassis and bodywork, fitting a carbon composite bonnet, a carbon fibre diffuser, a unique lightened rear axle, thinner glazing and a lightweight battery. The rear seats have also been removed in the interest of weight reduction, while the front seats have been replaced with composite units.

The engineers’ obsession with weight reduction ran so deep that even the standard Megane R.S. Trophy’s 8.7-inch infotainment system is replaced by a smaller 7.0-inch unit, saving 250 grammes. An optional air intake is also available, occupying the same space as the standard car’s driving lamps, and saving a further 2kg.

Chassis upgrades include a set of Ohlins dampers, a Torsen limited slip differential, a rear strut brace, four-piston Brembo brake calipers and a unique set of Bridgestone Potenza tyres. The Megane R.S. Trophy-R’s suspension geometry is also unique, with increased negative camber for the front axle.

Renault Sport has fettled the hottest Megane’s aerodynamics, too. The front bumper features a reprofiled splitter which channels air along a set of underbody panels to towards the rear diffuser. The Trophy-R’s twin-exit exhaust is also routed along the same path as the diffuser vanes, minimising turbulence and maximising downforce.

The range-topping Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R Nurburgring Record Pack model adds to this specification with carbon ceramic front brakes and gold Brembo brake calipers. With these upgrades fitted, the Megane R.S. Trophy-R’s spec matches that of the car used by Laurent Hurgon on his record breaking Nurburgring lap.

A mid-range Carbon Wheel Pack model will also be offered, priced at £63,140. The pack adds four 19-inch Carbon Revolution wheels in addition to the standard alloys, saving an extra 2kg per corner. They’re designed for use on the track, and come with tailored storage bags and a mounting cradle behind the front seats for when they’re not in use.

Each model is finished in unique mother-of-pearl paint, which is accented with red graphics for the car’s splitter and flanks. A range of Trophy-R badges also feature, along with a set of lightweight alloy wheels, Alcantara upholstery and a numbered tread plate plaque.

Now read our review of the standard Renaultsport Megane 300 R.S. Trophy. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…

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