WINNER’S TROPHY - Renault Megane RS Trophy-R
The Megane is only 1.18 seconds slower around the ‘Ring than the new M5!
After reigning supreme at the Nurburgring since 2016, the King has finally fallen. The old King has been attacked and beaten by a younger more impressive King. Fortunately for the old King, he managed to retreat, and we can say with absolute certainty, that the old King will be back to fight another day.
Not only does that work impressively well as a medieval storyline, but it recounts the real-time storyline of what is happening at the Nordschleife; because Renault has finally managed to grasp the ‘Fastest trophy’ (pun intended) out of Honda’s hands thanks to its new Megane RS Trophy-R, which beat the Civic Type-R by 3.7 seconds around 20.6 kilometres of Green Hell.
Interestingly, the Trophy-R’s lap time was set on the older 20.6 kilometre track layout, whereas the new standard going forward will be on a slightly longer 20.8 kilometre long Nordschleife. For that reason, they released the time set for the ‘older’ track – where the Type-R recorded its record – and set the benchmark for the new track going forward. The Trophy-R was driven by Renault Sport developmental driver Laurent Hurgon, the race ace who also took two previous hardcore Meganes to their respective Nurburgring lap records.
The fact of the matter is, the story of the Megane RS and the “Ring” has been going on for more than 10 years. It started in 2008 with the very first record in the front-wheel-drive production car category: Megane RS R26.R completed the lap in 8'17'’. A time that was shattered 3 years later, in 2011, by the second generation Megane RS Trophy, in the hands of Laurent Hurgon (8'07''97). In 2014, it passed under the 8-minute mark (7'54''36) for the first time with the Trophy-R version of the Megane III RS.
And if you thought the Megane RS Trophy was focused, this takes things to an entirely new level, where ‘R’ at the end of Trophy stands for ‘ridiculous’. That’s right, because this new limited-edition Trophy-R has shed 130 kilograms from the already brisk RS Trophy. The chassis has been further tweaked, and there are some functional aerodynamic updates as well. Essentially, three areas of the car needed to have focused on to make the Trophy-R what it is: maximum weight reduction, revised aerodynamics and ‘a radical development of its drive axles’, including how the car is suspended and how power is distributed at the front.
But like its predecessor, the Trophy-R does not feature more power than the Trophy. On this generation of Megane RS, the motor is a turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder than produces 221kw and 400nm – still down on the Type-R’s 228kw output. And as before, the Trophy-R is available only with a six-speed manual transmission, driving the front wheels. There are also Ohlins Racing dampers, Brembo brakes and Recaro sport seats and a roll cage as standard too.
Renault will only be producing a few hundred units of Trophy-R, and the model is expected to go on sale in Europe towards the end of 2019. Renault F1 Team drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hülkenberg will be behind the wheel when the Megane RS Trophy-R makes its first public appearance at this weekend’s Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix.