RENAULT MEGANE RS275 TROPHY-R
Renault has revealed a special new limited-edition version of its Megane RS hero.
It’s not the recently updated 2014 RS 265 Cup. It’s not even the already limited-edition RS 275 Trophy that we’ll see here in the third quarter - although it celebrates the same world-beating achievement.
This one is called the RS 275 Trophy-R, specified to the same highly tweaked level that Laurent Hurgon piloted to a 7:54.36 lap of the 20.83km Nurburgring Nordschleife, wrestling the record back from Seat’s 7:58 Leon Cupra.
The Trophy-R is a street-legal car - it has to be in order to claim its lap title - and Renault has confirmed it will stamp out just 250 of the new speed-king split between only 15 markets.
A generous 50 of those will come to Australia, thanks to our status as the Megane RS hatch’s second-best selling market, and it will wear a price tag in the neighbourhood of $65,000 before on-road costs.
That list price would make the Trophy-R just over $17,000 more expensive than the new RS 265 Cup Premium, and it means we can likely expect the ‘regular’ RS 275 special to land at around $55,000.
The Trophy-R’s price will also make it the first Renault in Australia to be hit with the Luxury Car Tax, so buyers will need to prepare themselves for that extra smack on the wallet.
But that hit is unlikely to keep Renault from selling all 50 cars in a flash, thanks both to its exclusivity and - even more - to its track-proven capability.
The Trophy-R’s special talents are thanks to items that have been added or enhanced and - as a stripped-out offering - more than a few that have been just plain removed.
For starters, the rear seats are gone, swapped for a strut brace and luggage net that all together results in a 23kg saving.
The front seats are now light-weight polycarbonate Recaro Pole Position buckets that alone save 42kg.
A smaller lithium-ion battery replaces the regular unit for a 16kg saving, and the loss of creature comforts like air-con, radio and dash display have also resulted in another 10kg saving. (Renault will still let you have those bits if you want them, though, and the lighter battery will be an optional extra.)
As with the RS 275 Trophy, there’s a titanium Akrapovic exhaust that brings a 4kg saving, and another 18kg is saved by shaving back the amount of insulation normally found at the rear.
A lighter braking package with aluminium and steel discs saves 3kg - even though they’re up 10mm in size to 350mm.
Renault even used used lighter materials in the dash, all to bring the RS 275 Trophy-R down to 1280kg - a neat 101kg lighter than the RS 265.
There’s also Ohlins Road&Track manually adjustable dampers with 20 steps at the front and 30 at the rear, along with Allevard composite epoxy springs and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 wrapping the 19-inch alloy wheels.
As a ‘275’ model, power from Renault’s 2.0 litre turbo four-cylinder is again listed at 201kW in the Trophy-R, with 360Nm of torque.
The new model’s 0-100km/h time is listed at 5.8 seconds, and fuel consumption is listed at 7.5 l/100km.