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The Renault Megane RS Trophy-R Just Beat Up The Civic Type R and Stole Its Nürburgring Crown

Illustration for article titled The Renault Megane RS Trophy-R Just Beat Up The Civic Type R and Stole Its Nürburgring Crown
Image: Renault Sport

I don’t put much stock in Nürburgring lap times, or any lap times for that matter, as they relate to how good a performance car actually is to own. That being said, a new front-wheel-drive record-setting time of 7:40.100 means it can go really fast and corner really hard. This new Renault absolutely housed the Civic Type R’s previous record by 3.7 seconds.

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Renault has held the FWD record at the ‘Ring a number of times before with various versions of hot Megane, but the record has most recently been bounced between Civic Type R and hot Golf GTI. This is a serious effort by the French manufacturer to make a statement, as it really went all out for this track-ready hot hatch.

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The Megane RS Trophy-R kicks the already hot RS Trophy up a notch by dropping 130 kilograms of weight from the car, tweaking the aero with a new fascia, and working with partner companies to develop the suspension components.

Details are thin on the ground right now, as Renault hasn’t said exactly what comes with the Trophy-R package, but the video shows a set of lightweight carbon wheels wrapped in near-slick Bridgestones. The car also bears Ohlins, Brembo, Akrapovic, and Sabelt logos, indicating Renault received help with the dampers, brakes, exhaust, and bucket seats respectively.

The Trophy-R’s 296-horsepower 1.8-liter turbo four remains unchanged from the non-R Trophy, though the car does now see a huge naca-style duct in the hood to feed in cold air, which I imagine does help keep things like intercoolers cooler for long laps like that of the ‘Ring.

I am in love with this tiny French wonder, and I would die for it. Sadly, it will not be sold here in the U.S. market, but 200 lucky sumbitches will get the opportunity to own the world’s quickest [for now] N-ring lapping FWD car.

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The hot hatch nuclear wars never ended, and they’re just getting hotter.

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

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DISCUSSION

OK, impressive accomplishment, but isn’t this basically like being the fastest 3-legged horse in the Kentucky Derby? FWD is inherently compromised for performance driving. For the price of one of these ultra limited edition “production” cars, I’m guessing you could buy any number of faster RWD vehicles purpose built to be performers, without being held back by economy car bones underneath. Just don’t get it I guess.