The new Renault Megane RS Trophy-R has been spotted at the Nürburgring in a likely attempt to reclaim the title for front-wheel drive hot hatchbacks. While Honda currently holds the record, the new Renault Megane RS has apparently shed some weight to set an even quicker time around the track.
There is no clear indication of what the exterior styling would look like as Renault’s test mule features white cladding covering the car in some areas. In addition to concealing a power bulge on the hood, there are more materials on each side of the car rising upward toward the rear fenders. Since they don’t appear to hide body modifications, it could be hiding stripes that will get the red accent from the front fascia. Renault engineers have also blacked out the lower area at the rear to hide tweaks to the diffuser and exhaust.
The Renault Megane RS Trophy-R test car was seen riding on big, black nine-spoke wheels with visible silver callipers at the front and red at the back. While the different colours may seem a little out of place, Renault will likely paint them in matching hues for the hot hatch production version. Europeans will actually be able to buy the circuit-ready model before the end of the year.
Renault Megane RS Trophy-R Sheds Some Weight
Engineers at Renault Sport (RS) have focused on shedding additional weight from the Trophy-R for improved performance. While the test mule still has four doors, they have stripped out the rear seats to drop as much weight as possible. It also doesn’t have the traditional Renault-style fog lights in the front fascia which also adds to the overall mass.
As previously mentioned, the Honda Civic Type R holds the current record for front-wheel drive hot hatchbacks. If the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R wants to take the title, they need to lap the Green Hell in less than 7 minutes and 43.8 seconds. For anyone familiar with the Nüburgring, that is a very challenging time and one that Honda has held for quite a while.
No details have been released on the powertrain for the Trophy-R but it could get more power, better suspension and track tyres to help beat the Nüburgring.
Renault Megane RS Production Car
The Renault Megane RS is currently offered to South African motorists in two derivatives, Lux and Cup. The standard model sports a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine producing 296 horsepower with either 295 Nm of torque in a manual gearbox or 420 Nm on the optional dual-clutch transmission.
While there will be more powerful Trophy version later in 2019, there is no indication of a hardcore, road-legal, track model similar to the R26.R. Even though it never came to South Africa, overseas pundits made it clear that it was a real brute of a car. They loved the ‘rawness’ of the stripped out interior, trick Toyo tyres, roll bar and Perspex rear window to shed unnecessary weight.
What Renault is showcasing here is a powerful lap-chasing Megane Trophy that could likely be the next best thing in the hot hatch segment. With no clear evidence of what a final production car would look like, we could get a glimpse later this year with a big reveal in Europe.