Renault has pulled back the curtain on their hottest hatch yet, the all-new Megane RS Trophy - a harder, faster, and lighter version of the venerable standard car. It may look much less ostentatious compared to previous iterations of the Megane Trophy, but that’s mostly down to a pivot in design philosophy.
Missing (so far) are the plexiglass windows, candy apple red wheels and lack of soundproofing, but there’s evidence to support that the French automaker has specifically made this track-friendly version more of a no-nonsense precision scalpel than its predecessors. Still, even more extreme versions reported to be coming down the pipe.
The main factor to the Trophy’s enhanced abilities over the standard Megane RS is its more aggressive setup. All the goodies from the optional Cup chassis pack were carried over, meaning Torsen limited slip differential, 25 percent firmer shocks, 30 percent stiffer springs and an anti-roll bar that’s 10 percent less flex-prone, among others.
The 19-inch Jerez wheels are unique to the Trophy and are given lighter aluminium hubs that work in tandem with the new bi-material brake discs and Brembo callipers to reduce unsprung weight as well as improve braking force and fade resistance. They wrap around a set of Bridgestone Potenza S001 tyres.
In 2019, Renault will make available even lighter 19-inch Fuji wheels that will shave 2kg each from the aforementioned Jerez set. Also optional will be the even stickier Bridgestone Potenza S007 tyres which will have been specifically developed to suit the Megane RS Trophy.
The 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine has been breathed on to deliver even more power, specifically an increase of 15kW to a total of 224kW while peak torque is 420Nm thanks to alterations made to its turbocharger, engine map and exhaust system.
This engine will transmit power to the front wheels with 6-speed manual transmission, though the option to fit a 6-speed dual-clutch unit will also be provided for those who prefer it. Renault says that, thanks to the higher tolerances enabled by the EDC auto, that aforementioned torque is specific to it while manual drivers are handed 400Nm.
Naturally, the 4Control rear-wheel steer system has also been carried over, allowing greater agility in corners and superior stability at high speeds. Doubtless it will be the EDC variant that Renault will end up using for their attempt to reconquer the FWD production car lap record, at least when the predicted Trophy-R breaks cover.
Inside, the RS Trophy is all business. Much of the soft touch material and some sound dampening material have been left in the factory, instead only leaving in what is most necessary. Alcantara is everywhere, as you’d imagine, and there’s an option to have the standard buckets replaced with a pair of single-piece Recaros that also reduce the H-point by 20mm.
All that being said, Renault still claims that the Megane RS Trophy is still very much an everyday-drivable hatch thanks to Multi-Sense drive modes, LED headlights, and an easy to use RS Monitor touchscreen infotainment system (that also provides race telemetry and detailed vehicle management).