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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Porsche Cayman 2.7||Renaultsport 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%|
|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/cost||37/£421/J/£265||39/£386/H/£205|
|Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service||£480/£610/£480||£299 (3yrs)|
|Engine||Flat 6cyl/2,706cc||4cyl in-line/1,998cc|
|Peak power/revs||271/7,400 bhp/rpm||271/5,500 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque/revs||290/4,500 Nm/rpm||360/3,000 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||6-spd man/rwd||6-spd man/fwd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||64 litres/repair kit||60 litres/repair kit|
|Boot capacity||425 litres||991 litres|
|Turning circle/drag coefficient||11.0 metres/0.30Cd||11.1 metres/0.34Cd|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs/3yrs||4yrs (100k)/4yrs|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||20k miles (2yrs)/36||18,000 miles (1yr)/153|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos||6th/3rd||15th/14th|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars||N/A||83/78/60/4 (2014)|
|0-60/30-70mph||5.6/4.6 secs||5.6/4.5 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||3.7/5.1 secs||2.2/3.5 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th||6.4/8.1 secs||4.3/6.0 secs|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||165mph/2,500rpm||158mph/2,500rpm|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||27.6/6.1/389 miles||26.7/5.9/352 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||236/195g/km/31%||244/174g/km/27%|
|Automatic box/stability/cruise control||£1,922/yes/£267||No/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|