Renault Megane RS Trophy-R: The French 911 GT3

And it's also the quickest production FWD car on the 'Ring.

No back seats, carbon-ceramic brakes, a carbon fibre bonnet, optional carbon fibre wheels, an Akrapovic exhaust, a carbon fibre diffuser, Ohlins dampers, and a 130 kg of weight saving over the car it is based on. No, I'm not talking about the new Porsche 911 GT3's spec list. These elements can all be found on a Renault Megane. But not just any Megane.

This is the RS Trophy-R. In other words, la crème de la crème of Meganes. Just like the R26.R and the RS 275 Trophy-R before it, the engineers from Renault Sport developed a true racing car for the road based on their compact family car. Think of it as the princess of hot hatches, and it's French monarchy all over again as Renault has once again taken the crown of the fastest going production FWD on the Nürburgring.

The Renault Megane RS Trophy-R doesn't make too much sense, and maybe that is why it's so special. Take the normal Megane RS for example. It's an excellent sports car that is rather comfortable, fast, practical, economical, and is basically a hot hatch that you can drive everyday. Well, the RS Trophy-R is not as compromising and everything about it has been optimized to make it go faster around a track.

The result is a car that you cannot really drive everyday. The objective was to get light, very light. In fact, the Trophy-R is 130 kg lighter than a standard Megane RS Trophy. Therefore, you can always try to daily drive this compact hatchback, but there are only two seats, the ride is harsh and even the trunk is useless because they removed the carpets. Our car was equipped with the Nürburgring Record Pack, which included basically every single options we stated at the beginning of the article for a total price of £72K. See, I told you it did not make much sense.

The Renault Megane RS Trophy-R doesn't make too much sense, and maybe that is why it's so special.

Jonathan Yarden

For this kind of money you're getting a car that is ready to destroy any other hot hatch on track. The Megane is equipped with a turbocharged 1.8-litre 4 cylinder engine that makes 300 horsepower, which is enough to go from 0-60 mph in only 5.4 seconds, and reach a top speed of 162 mph (262 km/h). Yeah, the stats of the Megane are not that impressive. For instance, the big boys of the category, like the RS3 or A45 AMG, make well over 400 horsepower. However, the Trophy-R is closer to a race car than these cars will ever be. The French hot hatch is nippier, rougher, and more fun to drive. Unlike the "hyper" hatches from the segment, it feels like the Megane goes back to basics. There is no fancy dual-clutch gearbox, and instead you get a good old six-speed manual. It's an analog car that will only make you focus on the driving. Moreover, Renault got rid of the massive infotainment system, only to provide you with the tiny basic screen to save up 250g. It seems like nothing, but it shows the level of commitment to lightness. Honestly, it's refreshing to get in a car that takes a step back in terms of tech and the rest of superfluous options. Once you get in, you are not looking at a giant screen, trying to adapt the settings, figuring out how to set the AC, or pairing your smartphone. No, you just want to drive, and Renault did a great job at taking these distractions away.

T​he question is, who is the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R for? Obviously, for someone who has deep pockets, but apart from that, it is targeted at people who like to drive. It is a "back-to-basics" hot hatch that is ready for track days, and that will put a smile on its driver every time he/she finds twisty roads. Of course, you can do the same in a Cayman GT4, which is about the same money. But the Megane is more exclusive than the Porsche with only 500 units produced. Perhaps, we can imagine that the French hot hatch will hold its value pretty well, just like the R26.R.

Renault has done it again. The French automaker just knows how to produce some of the coolest and craziest hot hatches around, and the Megane RS Trophy-R is no exception. This track-focused weapon is very expensive, uncompromising, and unique in this segment. For its defense, it's way more than just a jacked up Megane RS. A lot of thought, engineering and racing expertise has been injected into this project. I agree that is complicated to justify such a price tag. However, if you're looking to drive something that feels different from the rest of hot hatches, that is extremely fun, rare, and track-ready, well the Trophy-R might make a little bit of sense to you.

I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to Renault Switzerland for making this possible. Here is also a link to their Instagram.

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Comments (40)

  • Can’t justify the £72k price tag, if it was £36k it would be more palatable but this level of precision in a Megane doesn’t work at this price unless you are hammering the Nurburgring every day in which case your £72k would buy you a better track car.

    Better buying a cheaper hyper hatch knowing that you might give away 10% less precision for 50% more power (A45s)!

    God...... I sound like Clarkson...... power!

      8 months ago
    • What you say makes sense. You can't really drive it everyday, and it's a true little race car which is obviously expensive. It's targeted at a very niche segment of people that are passionate about the brand and looking for something special

        8 months ago
  • Well... Hm... Im sort of on the fence about it. I can't help but respect it, despite it bring a Renault. But if you go to that length, carbon fibre everything and so on, why would you say "yeah, 300 bhp sounds enough"? Im not saying that's a puny amount of power. Just that a chipped i30 N easily makes 300 as well, looks a lot less like a shoe, has an actual boot, is not french and costs A LOT less money. I guess what i am trying to figure out is who is gonna buy it? And for what reason?

      8 months ago
    • Good question.. but I said the specs were not impressive compared to an RS3 or A45 for example. People who will buy it are the Renault fanboys ready to put a lot on money on the table to drive the best of the best from the brand

        8 months ago
    • Yeah it has carbon fibre and so on and so forth,but when you see how light the car is then it all starts to make sense

        8 months ago
  • I would rather like a street legal version of the Alpine A110 Cup car.

      8 months ago
  • Please stop referencing to 911

      8 months ago
  • Sounds like loads of fun ! I respect Renault's efforts here, I really do but unfortunately, it's still a Renault ....

      8 months ago