Renault’s Gunning For Ring Record With New Megane RS Trophy

Renault used to be top dog at the Nürburgring when it came to hot hatches, as it owned the front-drive lap record for years with previous hardcore versions of the Megane RS.

Then rivals like Seat, Volkswagen, and finally Honda came along and snatched the title. But the French aren’t surrendering – instead. they are preparing to fight back and reclaim the throne.

The weapon of choice is the new Megane RS Trophy, a prototype of which was recently spotted testing on the Nordschleife. It looks even more hardcore than the current model, which packs the same 280-horsepower engine as the Alpine A110.

The new Trophy would likely pack at least 300 hp, putting it in prime position to tackle the Honda Civic Type R that holds the FWD ‘Ring record right now.

But that wouldn’t be all there’d be to Renault Sport’s new top model. As these spy shots suggest, it’d also get a tweaked chassis with stiffer suspension, larger wheels with bigger brakes, a limited-slip diff (one is already standard on the RS Cup) and a stripped-out interior.

An improved aero package should help with downforce as well as cooling of the engine and brakes. What remains to be seen is whether it’ll be available with both a manual and a dual-clutch gearbox, like the 2018 Megane RS, or if it’ll adopt the (faster in a circuit) DCT only.

We expect the Megane RS Trophy to launch sometime later this year, and a Nordschleife run should follow shortly after.

The best time Renault has achieved to date around the Green Hell is 7:54.36, clocked by the previous Megane RS 275 Trophy-R in 2014. The Civic Type R managed to shave over 10 seconds off that when it clocked a 7:43.8 last year.

Clearly the French have their work cut out for them, but even their rivals would admit that they stand more than a fighting chance. And, of course, it will be interesting to see how they’ll respond to the new Megane Trophy. Let the hot hatch war commence once more!

more photos...

Photos by S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

  • Kaisuke971

    The Mégane R.S. has been a bit disappointing compared to its mighty predecessor, so people have a lot of expectations for this Trophy model. I really hope it will make the Mégane take its crown back and permit it to become the benchmark again

    • Vassilis

      What makes you say that? I don’t think there are any reviews out, are there?

  • SteersUright

    Wish they’d export this to the USA somehow, maybe sold as another brand.

  • Loving the competition and I’m sure Honda is mischievously watching and waiting for the challenge

Firefighters Extinguishing Porsche Cayman Fire Seemingly Look For Engine In Wrong Place

Were the firefighters actually looking for the Cayman’s engine in the front or just the battery?.

The Winners And Losers Of J.D. Power’s 2019 Reliability Study

Porsche and Toyota finished both in second place while the 911 is the most dependable model.

Rivian’s Future Seems Brighter After Securing $700M Investment Led By Amazon

Rivian’s two products, the R1T and R1S, are said to deliver up to 400+ miles of range.

2019 BMW 1 Series Shows 3 Series-Inspired Dash And Funky LED Door Trims

The front-wheel-drive 1 Series hatchback is expected to debut later this year, possibly in Frankfurt.

Ferrari Getting Ready To Reveal 488’s Big Hybrid Brother But Not In Geneva

Ferrari will debut its second-gen hybrid tech in a new mid-engine supercar that will sit above the 488.

Hyundai i30 N Line Gets A More Affordable 1.0L Turbo Entry-Level Model

The i30 N Line T-GDi 1.0 has 120 PS and needs 11.1 seconds to hit 100 km/h.

A Dozen Minnesota State Patrol Cars Were Hit On The Side Of The Road In Just Two Weeks

Minnesota State Patrol cars were involved in nearly one crash per day so far this month.

2020 Mercedes S-Class Gets Huge Touchscreen, Looks Bigger Than iPad Pro 12.9 (Update #3)

The new S-Class might as well have a flat-screen TV at the center of the dashboard.

2019 Mercedes A-Class Sedan Is Cheap Only By Benz Standards

Mercedes has priced the 2019 A-Class Sedan from $32,500 in the US.

Ferrari Unveils 2019 SF90 Formula One Car And It’s Matte Red

Ferrari’s 2019 F1 car has been named SF90 to commemorate the automaker’s 90th anniversary.