Renault Megane RS Trophy-R Sets New Record at Suzuka Circuit for FWD Cars
2 December 2019 - autoevolution
Care to guess which car is faster at the Nurburgring between the Civic Type R and Megane RS Trophy-R? Of course, it’s the Renault; a limited-edition pocket rocket that costs almost as much as the BMW M2 Competition.
The most extreme road-going Megane has another record up its sleeve, setting a 2-minute and 25 seconds lap at the 5.8-kilometer-long Suzuka circuit in Japan. That's more or less a sucker punch to Honda's world-class hot hatchback, and Renault Sport isn't modest about this achievement either. "More than 3 seconds better than the previous record," is how the French brand puts is, and as if that wasn't enough, the Trophy-R has also set the record at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.
Only 500 units of the Trophy-R will be produced, each featuring a plaque for authenticity and bragging rights. The starting price in France for the 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder land missile is 55,000 euros, which is 16,700 euros more than the bog-standard specification of the front-driven, five-door hatchback.
Talking about the newest record, general manager Patrice Ratti said that "this performance is particularly meaningful for the 10,000-strong local community of Renault Sport and Trophy-R fans." Given that Renault doesn't even compare to Honda in terms of sales volume in Japan, that account may be too optimistic.
The record-breaking lap at Suzuka "demonstrates the effectiveness of the specific testing campaign we conducted on site to best meet their expectations," added Ratti. "This is enough to further strengthen the relationship with our very international customer base," and that's somewhat curious given that Renault has yet to return to the United States alongside its alliance partners, Mitsubishi Motors and Nissan.
Up to 130 kilograms lighter compared to the RS Trophy in its lightest configuration, the -R also features no fewer than 300 horsepower, more aggressive aerodynamics, and a few upgrades to the drive axles. More than 50 units of the Trophy-R were ordered in Japan to date, including a handful with the carbon-ceramic brakes.