xl
LG
MD
SM
XS
OX HC Magazine
Follow us | OXHC Magazine On Pintrest Follow OXHC Magazine On Facebook Tweet OXHC Magazine On Twitter OXHC On Instagram OXHC Club
Drive

Renault Megane Trophy R

This car was by far the hottest car on track that day – even roll caged feather-light, race-only cars couldn’t keep up with it


The Trophy R can feasibly be your only car

Prices from £36,430

If you love driving, track driving in particular, look no further. Before sampling the amazing on-road experience of this Megane Trophy R you may well say – “What!? 36 grand for a Renault Megane!” But actually, as we take to the pit lane in the car for a cool-off period at the Brands Hatch race circuit you, like me, will be shaking your head and thinking “wow….what a bargain!

Of the two possible exclamations, it’s the “What a bargain!” that wins the debate. This car was by far the hottest car on track that day – even roll caged feather-light, race-only cars couldn’t keep up with it, and those who could had to work really hard to get past


 

The Trophy R was too good to be overtaken on the bends, so some waited for an overtaking opportunity on the straights thinking they either had more power and/or less weight. They were wrong; the Trophy R still held them back. And this wasn’t racing, just natural pace and sheer ability. As we idled to our pit garage, the nods, steers and comments were obvious – “look….there’s that Trophy R!”

…that Trophy R

As it happens, “...that Trophy R”was getting faster and faster with every lap. Credit to be given to the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres that just got grippier and grippier with the heat. The Renault Trophy R felt fantastic, such a pure single purpose driving machine; a total thrill. Astonishingly, despite having 30 different track settings at its disposal, our car hadn’t even been set up for track use! According to Renault, our test car was in standard road car set-up, with no track prep adjustments made. They insisted we had the car independently insured for going on track, but it was worth every penny. If you don’t use this car on track, you won’t even touch its potential, for this is where it is happiest, and it’s such unbelievable fun when you take it there.

Magic recipe?

Its sheer pace is demonstrated by a new sub-eight-minute class record-breaking lap of the Nurburgring Nordschleife. There are just 30 examples available for UK customers. Car buffs already know that Renault are masters of the ‘Hot-Hatch’. Yet this one is truly exceptional even by Renault standards, if not arguably the best yet.

So what’s the magic? The most obvious was to remove all unnecessary weight – like the back seat! – along with general noise refinement packaging, cutting weight down by nearly 100kg in all. Aerodynamic efficiency benefits from a rear air diffuser and additional rear spoiler, complemented by extended wheel arches, side sills, and the addition of a front blade.

On the engineering side, Renaultsport partnered with specialist  manufacturers to produce dedicated performance components such as the lightweight titanium Akrapovič exhaust system, Optional Öhlins Road & Track adjustable dampers, the fantastic Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, Renaultsport Cup chassis, with a limited slip differential and Recaro seats fitted as standard.

The 275 bhp power hike is the result of engine tweaks accessed through the Renaultsport Dynamic Management (Sport or Race mode), running at a lesser 250 bhp in ‘normal mode’.

On the inside there’s bespoke interior trim with red stitching for the steering wheel, dashboard trim, and gearshift. There is also optional light grey leather upholstery and fabric, or leather Recaro seats. There’s black lacquer centre console and air vent surrounds with charcoal-effect finish for door panel inserts. The dash houses the Renaultsport Monitor, a unique-in-class on-board telemetry system.

A road car too?

All of this….for a road car. That means we can only legally enjoy the Trophy R at speeds up to 70 mph where conditions and the law allows. We’d suggest, if that’s where you are personally coming from, you’re missing the point and such tools are not for you. To enjoy the car your logic needs to be something like this; with the inevitable consequence of a generally firmer and noisier ride, the Trophy R can be enjoyed on some of the finest B roads in this country and abroad without breaking the law.

You will of course, plan to take your Trophy R on track several times throughout the year, where you will reap the benefits of every penny of your 36-38  grand. What’s more, even if you end up using your Trophy R for school runs and commuting – its grip, handling and braking abilities are such that in anything but snow, you are driving one of the safest cars in the land. In day to day terms, with your four year/100,000 mile warranty, the Trophy R can feasibly be your only car. It would certainly be mine.

 

- Kevin Haggarthy

Tech Spec

Type: F4R M874. Induction capacity: 1,998 cc. Emissions conformance: Euro 5. With Particulate Filter (FAP): No. Bore x Stroke: 82.7 x 93. Compression ratio: 8.6: 1. Max. power: 275 hp DIN @ 5,500 rpm. Max. torque: 360 Nm @ 3,000 rpm. Fuel type: Unleaded petrol 95/98 RON. Injection type: Multipoint. No. of cylinders: 4. No. of valves: 16.

Performance

0-62mph (sec): 5.8. Max. speed (mph): 158. CdA: 0.75.

Fuel Consumption / Emissions / Ved Rating

Combined: 37.7mpg. Extra Urban: 45.6mpg. Urban: 28.8mpg. CO2 emissions: 174g/km. BIK (2014/2015): 27%. VED Band: H.

 

Related Articles: The Renault Twingo