New Renault Megane RS Trophy-R revealed with Nurburgring lap record

The limited-run Renault Mégane RS Trophy-R has been revealed, with the hot hatch undergoing comprehensive weight reduction programme to offer increased performance.

Due on sale later this year, the new range-topper features the same highly tuned 1.8-litre turbo engine as the Mégane RS 300 Trophy, which produces 296bhp and 295lb ft of torque. That car achieves 0-62mph in 5.7sec and a top speed of 161mph.

Renault says that the Trophy-R is 130kg lighter, due to a weight reduction programme led by Renault Sport, which developed the new model with the same apporach taken on a racing car.

The Trophy-R is claimed to feature improved aerodynamics and a reworked chassis drive axles to boost performance. That maintains the ethos of previous generations of Trophy-R, which have been focused on extracting performance through handling and dynamics, rather than purely relying on power.

The model has also benefitted from development work undertaken by Renault Sport’s partners; it features an Akrapovič exhaust, Brembo brakes, Bridgestone tyres and Öhlins shock absorbers.

While Renault has yet to give full performance details of the Trophy-R, it claims it has set a new front-wheel-drive production car lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. According to Renault, the car lapped the 12.80-mile Nordschleife in 7min 40.10sec on 5 April, and also posted a time of 7min 45.39secs on the full 12.94-mile layout. It has previously been spied in action on the German race track.

The Trophy-R is set to make its public debut at Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix this weekend before going on sale later this year, with a limited production run of “a few hundred” models. Pricing hasn’t yet been disclosed. The 300 Trophy costs £31,835, and the exclusivity of the new model means it’s likely to cost around £10,000 more.

The front-wheel-drive production car record at the Nürburgring was previously held by the current Honda Civic Type R, which lapped the track in 7min 43.80sec.