Prices for the Renault Megane RS Trophy have been announced, starting at £31,810 for the entry-level six-speed manual variant.
For £33,510, the range-topping hot hatch is available with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The Cup chassis, optional on the Megane RS comes fitted as standard on the Trophy, comprising a Torsen mechanical limited-slip differential, 25% firmer shock absorbers, 30% firmer springs and 10% stiffer anti-roll bars.
Further standard kit includes unique lightweight 19in alloy wheels, Trophy stripes on the front bumper and an active exhaust system.
Both the engine and chassis of the Mégane RS Trophy have received extensive attention, helping it to earn the title of the most potent series-production car to be produced by Renault's performance arm.
Using a ramped-up version of the Mégane RS’s turbocharged 1.8-litre engine with a new exhaust system, the Trophy produces up to 296bhp and 310lb ft of torque. Those are gains of 20bhp and 22lb ft, and while it’s still 20bhp short of the Honda Civic Type R, the Trophy has a healthy 15lb ft advantage.
The uprated four-cylinder is now also more responsive and eager to rev, owing to the use of new turbocharger hardware that’s inspired by Renault Sport’s Formula 1 engine. The turbine, which rotates at almost 200,000rpm, is now mounted on a ceramic ball bearing, saving weight and reducing friction by a third. This responsiveness is maximised when the new exhaust system bypasses a silencer with a mechanical valve.
Renault Sport says the extra urgency of the powertrain essentially offsets a loss in power caused by increased back pressure, which has come thanks to the fitment of a new particulate filter, encouraged by the introduction of the WLTP emissions regulations. The powertrain therefore complies with the latest Euro 6d-Temp regulations.
The dual-clutch automatic gearbox enables the maximum torque figure, but the six-speed manual requires a reduction in peak torque to bring it down to 295lb ft. That's still a 7lb ft improvement over the standard Mégane RS, however.
The EDC ’box enables the slightly higher output because it can work with “specific mapping”, Renault Sport says. That advantage, as well as the quicker shifting times, will likely give an EDC-equipped Trophy the better straight-line performance, although at this stage only a 0-62mph time for the manual is provided. It hits the mark in 5.7sec, 0.1sec quicker than the normal manual RS.
The fitment of aluminium hubs, which, along with new 19in Jerez alloy wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza S001 tyres, help to lower unsprung mass to improve steering feel and suspension performance, further boosts this track-ready set-up.
So too does the addition of bi-material front brake discs of 355mm in diameter. These are each 1.8kg lighter and are claimed to be even more capable of dissipating heat build-up during hard use. They work with Brembo calipers finished in red.
From 2019 onwards, Renault Sport will offer optional 19in Fuji wheels, which will be 2kg lighter each than the Jerez items and come wrapped in stickier Bridgestone Potenza S007 tyres. The Japanese tyre maker has worked with Renault Sport to develop a specific version for this car.
Carried over from the standard Mégane RS is Renault Sport’s 4Control all-wheel steering system, which enhances agility and improves high-speed stability.
The Trophy gets new seat mounts that sit the driver 20mm closer to the ground. There are also new optional Alcantara-covered Recaro sports seats, which are different from those offered on the normal RS hatch, providing even more lateral support.
Although unconfirmed, an even more focused Trophy-R version is due next. That car will follow the example of the 275 Trophy-R of the previous Mégane and ditch its back seats. It’s likely to challenge for the front-wheel-drive Nürburgring lap record, which is currently held by the Type R.
Information and photos courtesy of Autocar.