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Renaultsport Megane 275 Trophy R vs Porsche Cayman

The Megane Trophy R is a record-breaking hot hatch, but can it compete with the Porsche Cayman for pure driving thrills?

The Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany has a fearsome reputation, and car makers take great pride in boasting about their lap records at the infamous ‘Green Hell’. While supercars battle for the outright lap record, there are other titles to lay claim to, such as the fastest hot hatch. 

Best hot hatchbacks

The current title holder is the Renaultsport Megane 275 Trophy R, which completed the 13-mile course in under eight minutes. To celebrate, Renault is selling a limited-edition roadgoing version, featuring performance tweaks inspired by the record-breaking car. 

With a price tag nudging £37,000, the Trophy R is moving into the realm of dedicated sports cars, and for £3,000 more, you could get behind the wheel of a Porsche Cayman.

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The entry-level 2.7 delivers plenty of driving thrills, but how do these two cars compare? We hit the road and track to find out. 

Renaultsport Megane 275 Trophy R review

Porsche Cayman review

Read individual reviews of the cars by clicking the links above, and scroll down to see which one comes out on top. Will it be extreme hot-hatch or pedigree sports car? 

Head-to-head

Performance

These high-performance models serve up exactly the same 271bhp power output, but the turbocharged Renault has a broader spread of mid-range torque, which boosts in-gear acceleration.

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However, one of the thrills of driving the Porsche is being able to wind the 2.7-litre flat six-cylinder engine all the way up to maximum revs. In comparison, the stripped-out Trophy R’s lack of soundproofing means it's left feeling very raw. 

Racing kit

Renault has used race-derived kit from Brembo (brakes, above), Ohlins (dampers), Allevard (springs), Recaro (seats) and Speedline (wheels) to enhance the Mégane. Porsche doesn’t buy in technology, but does offer in-house-developed kit such as ceramic brakes, sports suspension and lightweight seats.

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Best track day cars

Load space

Stripping the back seats out of the Trophy R creates a large load space, which Renault has designed to accommodate a set of tyres. The Cayman doesn’t have the same maximum space, but the front and rear boots are reasonably sized and can take a surprising amount of luggage. 

Verdict

1st place: Porsche Cayman

The Cayman is the entry point to Porsche coupé ownership, but you won’t feel short- changed with the 2.7. It has more than enough performance to entertain on any road, while its beautifully balanced handling will leave you grinning from ear to ear. Add fine motorway manners, plus compact dimensions and fuel-saving stop-start for around town, and the Cayman is a thrilling coupé you could live with every day. 

2nd place: Renaultsport Megane Trophy R

To be mentioned in the same breath as Porsche is a victory for the Mégane Trophy R. It represents the pinnacle of Renaultsport’s hot hatch development, and on the right road its ability to transcend its humble hatchback roots and turn into a razor- sharp driving machine is staggering. It'll embarrass supercars on a track day, but its intense character means you’d be mad to use it on a daily basis.

Key specs:

 Porsche Cayman 2.7Renaultsport Megane 275 Trophy R
On the road price/total as tested£40,234/£46,464£36,430/£39,300
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)£20,600/51.2%£17,669/48.5%
Depreciation£19,634£18,761
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£2,461/£4,922£1,949/£3,897
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£2,340/£3,900£2,419/£4,032
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost37/£421/J/£26539/£386/H/£205
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service£480/£610/£480£299 (3yrs)
   
Length/wheelbase4,380/2,475mm4,299/2,636mm
Height/width1,294/1,801mm1,435/1,848mm
EngineFlat 6cyl/2,706cc4cyl in-line/1,998cc
Peak power/revs271/7,400 bhp/rpm271/5,500 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs290/4,500 Nm/rpm360/3,000 Nm/rpm
Transmission6-spd man/rwd6-spd man/fwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel64 litres/repair kit60 litres/repair kit
Boot capacity425 litres991 litres
Kerbweight/payload1,330/325kg1,297/303kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient11.0 metres/0.30Cd11.1 metres/0.34Cd
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs/3yrs4yrs (100k)/4yrs
Service intervals/UK dealers20k miles (2yrs)/3618,000 miles (1yr)/153
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos6th/3rd15th/14th
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./starsN/A83/78/60/4 (2014)
   
0-60/30-70mph5.6/4.6 secs5.6/4.5 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th3.7/5.1 secs2.2/3.5 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th6.4/8.1 secs4.3/6.0 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph165mph/2,500rpm158mph/2,500rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph43.7/31.6/8.2m44.9/27.9/8.2m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph65/31/61/70dB64/53/69/77dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range27.6/6.1/389 miles26.7/5.9/352 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined23.9/44.1/33.6mpg28.8/45.6/37.7mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined5.3/9.7/7.4mpl6.3/10.0/8.3mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket236/195g/km/31%244/174g/km/27%
   
Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/cameraSix/£122/£348/£1,044Six/no/rear/£350
Automatic box/stability/cruise control£1,922/yes/£267No/yes/yes
Climate control/leather/heated seats£518/£2,174/£284£500/part/no
Metallic paint/xenon lights/keyless go£558/£1,061/£599£525/no/yes
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/Bluetooth£2,141/yes/£324/£446£500/£300/no/£300
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