Of course, as the first road car to make an official attempt (and barring any 3am shenanigans from the locals) the extra-hot hatch was never going to struggle in its bid for the title.
By comparison, the hero Trophy-R’s time is a full minute behind the 1:23 lap recorded by the Renault-powered Sebastian Vettel in 2011.
Still, as a record-setting Nurburgring hero and the product of a long-running Formula 1 player, the top-shelf Megane’s pace-setting time at Albert Park is nothing to shrug at.
Piloted by new Red Bull F1 recruit Daniil Kvyat, the 201kW/360Nm Renault managed an average speed of 133km/h.
“It was a good car, nice to drive. Good suspension and it was a very good feeling,” Kyvat said.
“I have driven a Megane R.S - not the Trophy-R - before in Moscow once. It’s a very nice car. With the Trophy-R you can feel it is more sporty, the suspension is more sporty. It is made for proper racing driving.”
Kyvat’s lap represents the first time a commercially-available production car in the 2.0 litre realm has set a timed lap of the Albert Park circuit, but its run this week might suggest it won’t be the last.
Which brand will take up the challenge next?
Honda’s new Civic Type R has now laid claim to a Nurburgring lap time that betters the Trophy-R’s recent record - and with the Japanese carmaker returning to F1 in 2015, it could be next in line for the challenge.
The new Type R isn’t expected to make its Australian showroom debut until sometime in 2017, however, so it could be sometime before we see the hot hatch make an attempt at the record.
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