The front-wheel drive hot hatch leader board for the Nurburgring lap record is changing aplenty at the moment – and the new Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy-R has raised the bar yet again. The Seat Leon Cupra lapped the Nurburgring in 7min 58.4sec. However, its reign was short lived because on 15 May 2014 the Megane RS 275 Trophy-R – in the hands of Renaultsport test driver Laurent Hurgon – stopped the clocks in 7min 54.36sec.
The Trophy-R packs everything Renaultsport knows about hot hatch performance into one tuned Megane RS. So you can think of the new RS 275 Trophy-R – much like the previous generation Megane R26R – as the stripped-out GT3 of Meganes. Thanks to a 2.0-litre turbo tuned up to 202kW and a diet of 100kg for the sake of better handling.
The result of the fettling is the Trophy-R weighs 1280kg, while the regular Trophy tips the scales at 1381kg. Knowing how good a regular Megane RS is this should make for a pretty mouth-watering performance machine.
New Ohlins adjustable dampers, front composite springs by Allenvard, a lightweight Akrapovic titanium exhaust system and a set of super-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres come standard. If you combine these with the standard limited slip differential, you realise that the Megane RS 275 Trophy-R has proper weapon written all over it.
The strict diet that the Trophy-R had to go through meant that most of the insulating materials were lost (saving 18kg), the rear seat was removed to save 20kg and in its place is a cross strut bar. Renault say ‘track enthusiasts will appreciate the boot layout, designed to make it easy to carry four spare wheels’.
Deletion of the air-con and radio drops the scales by another 10kg – although they, and the very useful Renault R-Link system, will be still available as options. A pair of single-piece Recaro composite seats save another 22kg and even the rear wiper has been thrown away in order to save one more kilo.
Now it’s over to you Honda: what lap time can the turbo Civic Type R come up with?
Watch the record-setting Renault lap here: