Renault is king of the hot hatches once again, after its Megane R.S. 275 Trophy-R shaved four seconds from the Nürburgring lap record for two wheel-drive production vehicles previously held by the Seat Leon Cupra 280. Renault achieved its record north loop lap time of 7:54.36 by putting the Megane R.S. on a strict diet, and bumping up its power output.
The 275 Trophy-R is a stripped back, two-seater version of the regular Megane R.S. 275. The driver and passenger sit in polycarbonate Recaro Pōle Position buckets, with the option for a full six point racing harness to keep them in place. This minimalist seating arrangement, combined with other weight saving tweaks like the use of a lithium-ion battery add up to a car that's 100 kg (220 lb) lighter than the standard model.
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If the name didn't give it away, the Megane R.S. 275 sports 275 bhp, a gain of 10 over the old (equally as inventively named) R.S. 265. The extra power comes from changes to the ECU tuning and a new titanium Akrapovich exhaust system, which also shaves a further 18 kg off the weight.
The Trophy-R is based on Renault's Cup chassis and uses a limited slip differential. It's fitted with one-way adjustable Ohlins Road and Track dampers, which can be lowered for track work, and sits on 19 inch wheels shod in sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.
To top the whole package off, the standard Megane's brakes have been upgraded with 350/28-diameter steel and aluminum discs, which save a further 3 kg and are also better suited to track work.
If you're the sort of person who is willing to pay a premium for a track special, Renault is assuming you want the world to know, so it comes standard with red or black wheels, a black roof and red decals on the outside of the car.
Renault is promising to build 250 Trophy-R's to celebrate its success at the Nürburgring.
Renault's video of the record breaking lap is below.