Renaultsport may have turned to Laurent Hurgon to break the Nurburgring lap record for front-wheel drive production cars, but it was Daniel Ricciardo who had a go in the new Megane RS Trophy-R at Goodwood.
The F1 driver’s latest encounter with the car was also the oddest, as instead of going flat out on the course, like he did at the Circuit de Monaco together with his teammate Nico Hulkenberg, he instead chose to slide it every now and then, using the handbrake, at relatively low speeds.
We’re pretty sure that Ricciardo drove most of the course with a big smile on his face as, after all, this is a very exciting car. It aims straight for the top end of the front-wheel drive compact hot hatch segment, laughing in the face of the VW Golf GTI, Honda Civic Type R and Ford Focus ST.
Compared to the Megane RS Trophy, the Trophy-R features a tuned chassis that allows it to turn quicker. It also gets some aerodynamic updates and is 130 kg (286 lbs) lighter. At 300 PS (296 hp / 221 kW) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque, the output of the 1.8-liter turbo-four has remained unchanged. The engine is matched to a six-speed manual, which is the sole transmission option.
Renault said their top-end FWD hot hatch needs 5.4 seconds in order to get from zero to 100 km/h (0-62 mph), which means that it’s 0.3 seconds faster than the Trophy version. As for its top speed, that would be 262 km/h (163 mph).