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2014 Renault Megane RS Trophy

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About a week ago French automaker Renault revealed plans to break the eight-minute mark around the Nurburgring track with a front-wheel-drive vehicle prepped by its performance arm, Renault Sport.

Our first thought went toward a beefed-up version of the Megane , and judging by the latest teaser shot released by Renault , it appears our guess was correct, as the French are working on a new iteration of the RS Trophy .

Details are scarce at the time of this writing, but the image reveals that the hatchback will sport an Akrapovic exhaust system. This means we should see a slight power bump of around 10 horsepower and 10 pound-feet of torque over the Megane RS 265 , with the new figure stepping into 275-horsepower territory, nearly as much as the Seat Leon SC Cupra 280 .

We’re mentioning the latter because the Spanish hatch, currently the fastest front-wheel drive vehicle on the ’Ring at 7:58.4 minutes, is the main reason Renault decided to build a new RS Trophy. Aside from adding more power and torque, the Akrapovic exhaust, which also comes with a carbon-fiber tip, is also expected to help the Megane drop up to 11 pounds.

Further details are still under wraps, but stay tuned to TopSpeed for fresh info on the upcoming Renault Megane RS Trophy. It shouldn’t take long for the French to fully reveal their Nurburgring record attempt car.

Updated 05/06/2014: New details on Renault’s attempt to brake its current Nurburgring record suggest that the car used for this will be called Megane RS275R. Also, it is believed that the lap time will go down to 7 minutes and 45 seconds - making it not only the fastest Renault car, but also the fastest front-wheel drive vehicle on the ’Ring. (caradisiac)

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Renault Megane RS Trophy.

Competitors

Seat Leon SC Cupra 280

Seat Leon SC Cupra 280

Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, the Seat Leon SC Cupra 280 is the most powerful Leon model ever built thanks to its 280 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. All that oomph comes from a turbocharged, 2.0-liter engine that’s mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or an optional DSG transmission. The latter enables the hatch to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds, while top speed is limited to 155 mph.

As we’ve previously mentioned, the Leon Cupra 280 is the fastest production front-wheel-drive vehicle on the Nurburgring track, after setting a 7:58.4 lap on the famed course in March.

The new model can be had in either 3-door or 5-door body configurations and it’s already available in Europe, with pricing starting from £26,940 ($45,703 at current exchange rates) in Great Britain. Unfortunately, the Leon Cupra 280 won’t make it to the United States.

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R

Unlike the aforementioned hatch, the Volkswagen Golf R will cross to Pond to North America with its entire 296 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Also powered by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-pot, the Golf R is faster than the Seat in a straight line, achieving the 0-to-60 sprint in only 4.7 seconds. Top speed is also limited to 155 mph.

Available in three-door and five-door body styles, the Golf R sets itself apart from the regular VW hatch via a more aggressive front bumper with large air intakes, reshaped daytime running lights and a new grille that sports the "R" logo. Around back, a diffuser is in place to reduce lift, while the LED taillights got a smokey treatment.

Interior upgrades over the regular Golf include a set of sports seats adorned by Titan Black cloth centers and Crystal Grey Alcantara bolsters, a special R steering wheel and an R gauge cluster. Customers that are looking for a more premium interior can opt for a Nappa-carbon leather package.

Ford Focus RS

Ford Focus RS

Although Ford has yet to confirm a next-generation Focus RS is underway, several reports and recent spy shots indicate that the Blue Oval is indeed working on a high-performance model. Unlike the previous Focus which came with a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine under the hood, the new Focus RS will sport a 2.3-liter four-pot with EcoBoost with the latest turbocharging technology.

The unit is obviously similar to the one fitted in the brand-new 2015 Mustang, but word has it Ford will tweak it to deliver about 330 horsepower. The EcoBoost Mustang will get around 305 horses.

A new front suspension system will also make the Focus RS highly maneuverable, while stopping power will be provided by bigger brakes. The hatch will be launch only with a five-door body.




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