If you care more about comfort than speed and handling, get a full-featured car. If you want the hottest hot hatch on the planet, live with less-is-more. The newly-released Renault Megane RS Trophy-R has just been released and it is scorching tracks around the world.
The RS Trophy-R comes with the same engine and six-speed manual gearbox as the RS Trophy, but it is a whopping 130kg lighter and produces nearly double the downforce. And it is demonstratively very fast. The Trophy-R has already smashed the front-wheel-drive course record at the monstrous Nurburgring Nordschliefe and beat the previous time at Spa-Francorchamps by an incredible 5 seconds. To that list, it has now added The Bend Motorsport Park in Australia.
To save all that weight, Renault’s engineers went in with Le Axe. They chopped everything from the 4-wheel steering to save 32kg to a 35g saving by fitting a smaller infotainment screen. And carbon everywhere, around the bonnet, the wheels, even the discs and the massive diffuser in the rear.
The engine is the same as the 1.8-litre turbo four found on the RS Trophy, with 221kW power. The racing bits are the whos-who of famous manufacturers. Exhaust by Akrapovic, brakes by Brembo, tyres on the 19” wheels by Bridgestone, shocks by Ohlins and Sabelt bucket seats.
It not just the sheer speed of the car, but the braking and especially the cornering that allowed the Trophy-R to break these records.
But such performance is expensive. If either were available in South Africa, which at the moment they are not, the Trophy-R will cost R225 000 more than the R500 000 for the Trophy.
Time will tell, but we are not likely to see the Trophy-R here any time soon. They will make only 500 of the standard trim models, rationed by country, and only 30 of the record-breaking racing trim models. To put it in perspective, Australia will get one of the latter cars, and that will be sold by auction to the highest bidder. To paraphrase: “That’s not a car, mate. This is a car!”
In the meantime, if you don’t live for or on the racetrack, have a look at the very nice range of Renault Megane cars available here.