Renault’s new Megane RS Trophy‑R Nürburgring will set you back £72k
Meet the most expensive hot hatch in history. The ultimate Renault Megane RS goes on sale today at a cool… £72,140.
For that record amount you get a Megane that has five doors, a four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol motor, front-wheel-drive and a manual gearbox – all just like your £18,000 entry model Megane. But that’s about all they have in common.
The new top model is the Megane RS Trophy-R Nürburgring Record Edition and, as the name implies, it is virtually the same car that recently broke front-wheel-drive lap records at both the Nürburgring and at Spa Francorchamps.
At the ‘Ring it did a 7 minutes 40 seconds – that’s a tad quicker than the Porsche 911 Turbo S achieved nine years ago – while this hottest-ever French hatch took just 2 minutes 48 seconds to complete its blistering lap of Spa.
To get an otherwise innocuous family car to achieve such supercar pace takes some extensive and very bespoke upgrading, even for the French masters of the hot hatch. The car’s spec reads like a who’s who of performance parts: Akrapovič titanium exhaust system, Öhlins adjustable dampers, Sabelt lightweight bucket seats, carbon composite bonnet with NACA duct, carbon rear diffuser, Bridgestone Potenza S007 tyres and – a world first for a front-drive hatch – carbon wheels and carbon-ceramic front brakes, by Brembo.
It all comes in at a minimum of 130kg lighter than the already swift RS 300 Trophy which shares its 300PS (296bhp) turbocharged 1.8-litre engine, plus six-speed manual gearbox, with the R record breaker. There are fast hatchbacks at half the Renault’s price that have more power than this, proving it’s lightweight and sheer ability that count for more than straight line speed – for the record, the R’s 0-62mph time is 5.4 seconds and top speed is 163mph.
If £72k is a stretch, the less daunting news is that if you can do without the carbon wheels and brakes, plus a few other bits and bobs, the “regular” Trophy-R comes in at £51,140 on the road. That’s still more than the other hottest hot hatch of the moment, the new Mercedes-AMG A45 which has 415bhp and is expected to cost around £50k.
But then the Renault will have exclusivity on its side. Only 500 Trophy-Rs are being built globally, and only 32 of them are coming to the UK. The Trophy-R with Carbon Wheel pack (£63,140) and Nürburgring edition (£72,140) will be rarer still.
Other goodies showered on this pinnacle of the hot hatchery include mother-of-pearl paint finish with red highlights, Alcantara covered steering wheel, RS monitor for performance data and telemetry and 19-inch Fuji light alloy wheels which you still get in addition to the carbon wheels if you tick that box. The carbon wheels are stored in a special cradle behind the front seats (all Rs are two seaters only) so they are ready to be swapped over when you hit the track.
A true French classic? Certainly. We just wonder what collectors will pay for one in 10 years’ time…