Lapping the Nurburging in under seven minutes has become a regular occurence among the most powerful supercars in the world. But unbeknownst to most people is another battle among front-wheel-drive production vehicles to break the eight-minute mark around the ’Ring. Renault is one of those companies that’s vying for that record and it’s prepared to break that mark with a new campaign to finally lap the Nurburgring in under eight minutes.
The company’s performance arm, Renault Sport, is preparing a car that has one purpose in life: setting a sub-8-minute lap and reclaim the record set by the Mégane Trophy in 2011 when it clocked a time of 8:07.9.
That time has since been broken by the Seat Leon Cupra 280 last month when it clocked a time of 7:58.4, making it the first front-wheel-drive production car to clock a lap time of under eight minutes. But Renault isn’t prepared to concede the record just yet, so the company has a new campaign with the social media hashtag #Under8 to reclaim the record.
What’s become very clear is that Renault is leaving no stones unturned in this new pursuit, enlisting the help of companies like Michelin, Akrapovic, Öhlins, and BRM to help it break the Leon Cupra 280’s record. The company has made no announcement on the car it will use for this record-breaking attempt, but all signs seem to point to a new and improved iteration of the Megane .
Renault Sport has set a timetable for a June attempt at breaking under eight minutes and if there’s one thing we’ve come to know about automakers and their bragging rights, the company will treat this attempt with the seriousness it deserves.
Click past the jump to read more about Renault’s previous Megane RS 265 Trophy Record.
Renault set its personal best time around the Nurburgring back in 2011 when the Megane RS 265 Trophy established a then Nurburgring lap record for a front-wheel drive vehicle with a time of 8:07.97. The 2011 lap time also bested the previous record, which was also held by Renault when the Megane Renaultsport R26.R completed the lap in 8:17 on June 23, 2008.
The time posted at the Nürburgring put the Mégane Renaultsport 265 Trophy on a completely new level of performance that allows the vehicle to be put alongside supercars with power outputs at or greater than 500 horsepower. This was done with an extra 14.7 horsepower (11kW) on tap, careful setup work, and specific Bridgestone RE 050A (235/35R19) tyres chosen by RenaultSport engineers. These things, plus the vehicle’s "carefully-tuned Cup chassis, the dampers, the fade-resistant brakes, the Recaro seats, the power of the 265hp engine, and the ready availability of torque between 2,500 and 5,000 rpm" was what development driver, Laurent Hurgon, said helped achieve the new record.
Why It Matters
Obviously, front-wheel-drive vehicles have little to no shot of competing against the very best supercars in the world. But wining the front-wheel-drive record is still a great way for any car company to promote its wares. If you’re a company and you’re looking to get customers interested in your fast front-wheel drive car, you gotta admit that the title of "fastest around the Nurburgring" is a pretty impressive hook to have and sell to prospective buyers.