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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.

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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.

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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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