Renault Sport’s most aggressive hatchback yet!

The Renault Megane was most recently redesigned in 2016. Sportier than ever on the outside, it gained a modern interior with the latest tech and a range of revised engines. Two years have passed since then and Renault finally gave the fourth-generation Megane the long-awaited Trophy treatment.

Crafted by the Renault Sport division, also known as R.S., the new Trophy replaces the R.S. 275 Trophy model that the French firm offered between 2014 and 2017. Naturally, the new Megane Trophy is not only more aggressive on the outside, but it’s also more powerful. As usual, it’s built on the race-bred Cup chassis, which makes it a road-legal race car. The 275 Trophy-R holds track records for FWD cars on many circuits, including the Nurburgring, Suzuka, and Fuji. Will the new Trophy set new benchmarks? Probably. But until that happens, let’s have a closer look at its design and drivetrain in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy.

Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy Exterior

  • New grille
  • "R.S." emblem
  • New bumper
  • Checkered flag DRLs
  • Grey side skirts
  • Black window trim
  • Two-piece diffuser
  • Rectangular exhaust pipe
  • Trademark Liquid Yellow color
2018 Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy Exterior
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Renault gave the Megane a serious makeover in order to make it look more aggressive

As usual, Renault gave the Megane a serious makeover in order to make it look more aggressive. Up front, the headlamps now flank a grille that have a honeycomb mesh instead of horizontal slats and upper trim in gloss black. A small "R.S." emblem was added right below the big Renault logo.

The bumper was redesigned altogether and now features big side vents that include LED daytime running lights in a checkered flag layout, an R.S. trademark for many years. A grey inserts splits the center vent in two, with the lower opening wider than the one above. The bottom of the bumper is shaped like a splitter, but it’s not as aggressive as the Megane’s race-spec sibling.

2018 Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy Exterior
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Around back, the Megane Trophy isn’t as aggressive as you’d expect above the bumper

Moving onto the sides, we can spot three key changes. The side skirts now feature grey-painted extensions, while the window trim and the mirror caps are finished in black. The hatchback also rides on unique, 19-inch allow wheels. A second, lighter design will be available in 2019. Called "Fuji," these lightweight rollers reduce weight by eight kg (17.6 pounds) compared to the standard rollers.

Around back, the Megane Trophy isn’t as aggressive as you’d expect above the bumper. The tailgate carries over unchanged from the regular model, while the roof spoiler received mild revisions. However, the bumper makes a difference by ways of vertical vents at the corner and a two-piece diffuser with a big, rectangular exhaust pipe in the middle.

The car shown here is painted in Liquid Yellow, the brand’s iconic hue for R.S. models, but you can pick from the entire Megane palette. Optionally, you can add Trophy stripes to the front bumper.

Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy Interior

  • Race-spec steering wheel
  • Custom cluster graphics
  • Red highlights
  • Sports seats
  • Optional Recaro seats
  • Alcantara upholstery
2018 Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy Interior
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It takes just a quick glance to notice that this Megane is far from regular inside the cabin

While the overall design remained unchanged, it takes just a quick glance to notice that this Megane is far from regular inside the cabin. Once inside, you’ll notice the race-spec steering wheel, which features a flat bottom, a red "R.S." badge, a red 12-o’clock mark, and red stitching in the inside. It also has leather grip area and Alcantara lower and upper sections. The instrument cluster behind it also has custom graphics and red markings for a sportier look.

Move toward the passenger side and you’ll see more red highlights on the center console and gear shifter, as well as a custom display for the infotainment system. It’s here where you can also access the different driving modes through the Multi-Sense system, as well as gain access to the telemetry and data acquisition system, the R.S. Monitor. More red accents can be found on the door panels, alongside gloss-black trim.

2018 Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy Interior
- image 787556
Exclusive to this model, the Recaro seats are wrapped in Alcantara and are positioned 20 mm (0.8 inches) lower

The standard front seats were also replaced by sportier units, but the main highlight here are the new Recaro seats. Exclusive to this model, they come wrapped in Alcantara and are position 20 mm (0.8 inches) lower for a sportier experience behind the steering wheel. The shell backrest and integrated headrest have been upgraded to adapt the driving position more precisely. Unfortunately, these seats are optional and will probably cost a pretty penny.

Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy Drivetrain

  • New 1.8-lite engine
  • 300 horsepower
  • Up to 310 pound-feet
  • New exhaust system
  • Stiffer suspension
  • Four-wheel steering
  • Brembo brakes
  • Bridgestone Potenza tires
2018 Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy Drivetrain
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The 1.8-liter four-cylinder delivers a whopping 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque

The new Megane R.S. Trophy comes with a brand-new engine under the hood. The turbocharged, 1.8-liter four-cylinder uses a new turbocharger and exhaust system and delivers a whopping 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. That’s the most oomph an R.S. had so far.

There are two transmission choices. You can either go with the traditional six-speed manual or the six-speed EDC automatic. The latter is obviously quicker and gives you access to a bit more torque. Specifically, while the automatic model benefits from 310 pound-feet of twist, the manual is restricted to 295 pound-feet.

2018 Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy Drivetrain
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The new exhaust system has a mechanical valve that enables engine noise to be adjusted according to needs

The new exhaust system has a mechanical valve that enables engine noise to be adjusted according to needs. When the valve is shut, the silences filters out the low frequencies that cause throbbing noises, making the car more usable for everyday driving. When the valve is open, the reduced flow resistance enables the gases to be routed along a more direct path. That’s when the Trophy sounds like a race car. The position of the valve, automatically controlled by the Multi-Sense mode selector.

Built on the Cup chassis, the Trophy has a stiffer suspension setup and a Torsen mechanical, limited-slip differential. It also rides on 25-percent firmer shock absorbers, 30-percent tighter springs, and 10-percent stiffer anti-roll bars.

2018 Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy Drivetrain
- image 787549
For the first time ever, the Trophy uses a four-wheel steering system, which improves agility and cornering stability

For the first time ever, the Trophy uses a four-wheel steering system, which improves agility and cornering stability. At low speeds, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels, improving handling. At high speeds, the front and rear wheels turn in the same direction, meaning the rear wheels are perfectly aligned, increasing stability.

Stopping power comes from bi-material brake discs as standard. These are lighter and deliver greater heat dissipation, thus reducing brake fade. Brembo calipers are fitted at all four corners. The standard wheels are wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza S001 tires, while the optional "Fuji" rollers will come with grippier Potenza S007 rubber. Specifically developed for this model, the latter provides the R.S. Trophy with even more direct steering, increased cornering grip, and greater durability for track driving.

Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy Prices

2018 Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy Exterior
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Pricing information is not yet available, but the new R.S. Trophy model should be a bit more expensive than the outgoing R.S. 275 Trophy. The latter retailed from around €40,000 in France, so expect the redesigned version to fetch more than that. With Renault not selling cars in the U.S., don’t expect this hot-hatchback to cross the pond to North America.

Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy Competition

Honda Civic Type R

2017 Honda Civic Type R: Life Behind the Wheel
- image 754703

The Civic Type R is the archrival of the Megane R.S. Trophy, particularly because Honda and Renault are fighting a record war on the Nurburgring and other racing circuits around Europe. The two are still fighting each other for the front-wheel-drive benchmark on the Green Hell and Renault recently announced plans to crash Honda’s record world tour, which already includes records at Magny-Cours and Spa. The latest Civic Type R broke cover for the 2017 model year, and it looks damn aggressive on the outside. The Japanese hatch is no slouch either, sucking 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque from its turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The power travels to the wheels through a six-speed manual transmission, sending the Type R flying from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. Pricing for the Civic Type R starts from €39,880 in Europe. Unlike the Megane R.S. Trophy, the Honda is also available in the United States.

Read our full review of the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.

Seat Leon Cupra

2018 Seat Leon Cupra R High Resolution Exterior
- image 729412

While it’s identical to the Volkswagen Golf R under the skin, I’ve picked the Leon Cupra for this comparison because it has a more aggressive design on the outside. While the Golf looks rather bland, the Leon Cupra looks sexier from every angle and those copper highlights on the bumpers, mirror caps, and wheels give it an exotic appearance. The Cupra also has what it takes to take on the Megane R.S. Trophy performance-wise, as its 2.0-liter four-cylinder cranks up to 310 horsepower with the manual transmission and 300 horses with the DSG automatic. The sprint to 60 mph takes only 5.5 seconds, two tenths quicker than the Civic Type R thanks to its 4Drive all-wheel-drive system. Priced from €35,895, the Leon Cupra is a bit more affordable than the competition.

Read our full story in the 2018 Seat Leon Cupra R.

Ford Focus RS

2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven Exterior High Resolution
- image 718773

The Focus RS is arguably the most impressive hot-hatchback on the market. Not only does it look like it’s been designed for the World Rally Championship, but it also comes with a significantly more powerful engine under the hood. The interior is pretty hot too, especially if you go with the optional, signature RS Recoro seats, alloy sports pedals, and the additional instrument cluster sitting on top of the center console. Power is provided by the same 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine from the Ford Mustang. The Euro-spec Focus RS is not as powerful as the 350-horsepower U.S. model, but it’s still the best in the game with an output of 245 horsepower and 324 pound-feet of twist. It also uses an all-wheel-drive system, which enables it to hit 60 mph from a standing start in a scant 4.7 seconds. The Focus RS could become even more powerful in 2019 when Ford is rumored to launch a mild hybrid version. Pricing starts at €40,975. The Focus RS is available in the United States too.

Read our full review of the 2018 Ford Focus RS.

Conclusion

2018 Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy Exterior
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While most of Renault’s road-going cars are of the affordable and boring variety, the R.S. division has developed some outstanding vehicles in recent years. The new Megane Trophy is the hottest Renault Sport vehicle yet and one of the very few hatchbacks that come close to the Ford Focus RS. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t have all-wheel drive, but the new engine and the four-wheel steering system should make it as fun as they get on the race track. Too bad we won’t see this hatch battle it out with the Honda Civic Type R in the United States anytime soon.

  • Leave it
    • * A bit expensive
    • * Not as powerful as the Focus RS
    • * Not coming to the U.S.

Further Reading

2014 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 552125

Read our full review on the 2014 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy.

2018 Renault Megane R.S.
- image 779906

Read our full review on the 2018 Renault Megane RS.

2016 Renault Mégane GT High Resolution Exterior
- image 646274

Read our full review on the 2016 Renault Megane GT.

2017 Renault Megane Sedan
- image 682265

Read our full review on the 2017 Renault Megane Sedan.

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Read more Renault news.

Press release

Performance car enthusiasts can look forward to even greater performance and more dynamic design, as the New Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy boosts the Renault Sport line-up by extending the family of Trophy versions produced since the first generation of Mégane R.S.

New Mégane R.S. Trophy debuts a brand-new version of the 1.8-litre turbo engine, delivering increased power output of 300hp – the first time a R.S model has produced this level of power – and torque of 420Nm[1]. The significant rise in power is largely thanks to the use of pioneering technologies, especially for the turbocharger and exhaust system, which again are firsts in the new Mégane R.S. Trophy, including the ability to alter the engine note. This new engine can be combined with a six-speed manual or six-speed EDC (Efficient dual-clutch) gearbox.

Together with the new power unit, a host of additional performance-focused features differentiate the Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy from the standard Mégane R.S.

Based on the Cup chassis, which boasts stiffer suspension and a Torsen® mechanical limited slip differential, the Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy is further enhanced with bi-material front brake discs, specific 19-inch ‘Jerez’ alloy wheels and high performance Bridgestone tyres, which can be paired with new, exclusive lighter wheels that reduce total unsprung weight by 8kg.

For increased support, and also exclusive to the New Mégane R.S. Trophy are optional new Recaro front seats, covered with Alcantara® upholstery and positioned 20 mm lower for a greater driver experience.

Available in the iconic Liquid Yellow that is synonymous with Trophy models, the New Mégane R.S. Trophy is further identified with Trophy stripes added to its F1-style front spoiler.

Naturally, the latest and most powerful R.S ever benefits from the advanced technology and Renault Sport innovations that already exist in the Mégane R.S, including the 4CONTROL four-wheel steering system and four hydraulic bump stop shock absorbers.

Whilst honed for track use and to answer the needs of enthusiasts looking for exclusivity, New Mégane R.S. Trophy remains perfectly suited to everyday use, offering such features as:

The ability to select different driving modes using the Multi-Sense system
The exceptional performances of the lighting system, R.S. Vision
The telemetry and data acquisition system, R.S. Monitor

"I have been involved in the Mégane R.S. development process since last year and I’m very pleased to see an even sportier version added to the family! Each of the new features on New Renault Mégane R.S.Trophy offers greater sports performance and feel. It’s obviously positive to have more power and better grip through the tyres and to benefit from improved braking endurance. I also enjoyed the feeling offered by the new seats: the support they provide for sports driving is excellent."

Nico Hülkenberg, Renault Sport Formula One Team driver and Renault Sport ambassador

Engine: Harnessing technology to boost performance

First seen in the New Mégane R.S., the 1.8-litre direct injection turbo engine, derived from synergies in the Renault-Nissan Alliance, comes with an upgrade that enables it to pass the symbolic 300hp (220kW) mark for the first time in the R.S. range. Torque has also been increased, reaching 420Nm (+20Nm) with the EDC gearbox and 400Nm with the manual version.

The increased power delivers better acceleration, including at high revs, whilst the torque – one of the best in class – contributes to driving pleasure and comfort behind the wheel. These improved performances comply with the new emission control standard, Euro6d-Temp, which comes into force on 1 September 2018.

In order to offset the substantial increase in exhaust back pressure, related to the addition of a particulate filter, Renault Sport engineers concentrated in particular on the efficiency of the turbocharger by deploying a technology taken directly from Formula 1.

The turbine – which rotates at close to 200,000rpm – is therefore now fitted on a ceramic ball bearing system. Lighter, harder and smoother than steel, ceramic helps reduce friction. In fact, this technology reduces friction by a third compared with a traditional ball bearing system (oil film). This in turn ensures that the turbo is able to spool quicker, aiding acceleration and responsiveness.

In addition to the turbo, the new exhaust system is the second area in which engine performance has been improved on New Mégane R.S. Trophy. The rear silencer has been fitted with a mechanical valve that enables engine noise to be adjusted. Once again, this is a first in the R.S. range.

The position of the valve, automatically controlled according to the Multi-Sense mode selected, the engine speed and load, provides two tones:

When the valve is shut, the exhaust gases are routed along a path specifically designed to filter out the low frequencies that cause throbbing noises and process the medium frequencies. The sound produced has a sporty feel but is easy on the ears for everyday use.
When the valve is open, the reduced flow resistance enables the gases to be routed along a more direct path. The engine’s full potential can then be expressed, in terms of both performance and noise.

Like New Mégane R.S., the Trophy version is available with two types of six-speed gearbox: manual or EDC with steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles.

With the EDC gearbox, maximum torque is now 420Nm thanks to the specific mapping used.

Chassis: the best of Renault Sport

Even more suited to sports driving, New Mégane R.S. Trophy is equipped as standard with the Cup chassis. Compared with the Sport chassis, it features:

A Torsen® mechanical limited slip differential, the new calibration of which enables more precise entry to corners and improved traction when exiting corners.
25% firmer shock absorbers, 30% tighter springs and 10% stiffer anti-roll bars.

As standard, New Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy is fitted with bi-material 355mm front brake discs. Whilst reducing unsprung mass by 1.8kg per wheel, these discs deliver greater heat dissipation during intensive use, making them more resilient for track outings and vastly reducing the possibility of brake fade. A distinctive feature of the Cup chassis, the Brembo® callipers are painted red.

Instantly recognisable thanks to its exclusive 19-inch ‘Jerez’ alloy wheels, New Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy comes fitted with 245/35 Bridgestone Potenza S001 tyres, which are renowned for offering a high level of grip.

Available in 2019, the lighter 19-inch ‘Fuji’ Light alloy wheels – reducing weight by 2kg per wheel – are fitted with Bridgestone Potenza S007 tyres. These tyres, a specific version of which has been developed for Renault Sport, provide New Mégane R.S. Trophy with even more direct steering, increased cornering grip and greater durability for sports driving.

New Mégane R.S. Trophy also comes with all the new features introduced on Mégane R.S., starting with the 4CONTROL technology. This four-wheel steering system delivers outstanding agility through tight turns and impressive cornering stability at higher speeds.

At low speeds, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels, the more direct steering delivering incisive handling and a "playful" side that is unprecedented on a front-wheel drive car.
At high speeds, the front and rear wheels turn in the same direction, meaning the rear wheels are perfectly aligned and the car enjoys increased stability.

Design: R.S. spirit right down to the very last detail

Featuring an expressive and even sportier design, New Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy is available in the iconic Liquid Yellow. This body colour, with its vibrant finish and unique reflective effects, highlights the sculpted yet elegant profile of the car. The full range of Mégane R.S. body colours is also available.

Designed to deliver performance, boosted by many parts derived from the world of racing, New Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy is naturally expressive.

Enthusiasts will instantly recognise New Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy through its distinguishing traits:

The TROPHY stripes added to the F1-style blade
The specific 19-inch Jerez wheels, the design of which was inspired by the Renault Sport R.S.01 concept car, featuring a diamond-cut finish with red border. The name of these wheels was chosen in honour of the circuit at which R.S.01 made its first public outing.

New Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy may be fitted with optional new Recaro seats, redesigned from those fitted on Mégane III R.S.

The structure of the original seat base has been revised to offer drivers an even sportier feel, whilst maintaining a high level of safety. Combined with the increase in travel on the height setting, this design offers drivers a seating position that is up to 20mm lower and therefore an even more thrilling, sports driving experience.

Meanwhile, the hard shell backrest and integrated headrest have been enhanced to adapt the driving position more precisely, particularly thanks to dial-controlled continuous adjustment of the recline angle.

The Recaro seats are covered with Alcantara® upholstery. Highly resistant to wear and tear, largely unaffected by temperature variations and offering a high level of support whilst being twice as light as leather, this product possesses unique properties that are perfectly-suited to the needs of performance car enthusiasts.

Mégane R.S. Trophy: Repeated excellence

The first Mégane R.S. Trophy appeared in 2005, just nine months after the first Mégane II R.S. went on sale. The modifications were focused on the chassis, called Sport2. Lighter wheels, stiffer springs, specific shock absorber stops and ESP that could be inhibited all helped to improve performances.

After the production version went on sale in 2009, a 265 Trophy version of Mégane III R.S. was introduced in 2011. Based on the Cup chassis, it was fitted with an upgraded engine, with the power output upped from 250 to 265hp. Its performances made it the quickest front-wheel drive production model on the market, as proven by the lap record of 8:07.97 set by Laurent Hurgon on the Nordschleife at the Nürburgring. It was also a commercial success, with sales ending up twice the level that had been forecast.

The final iteration based on Mégane III went even further in the quest for performance. As its name suggests, the 275 Trophy boasted an upgraded engine, with additional power. This Trophy also featured an Akrapovič titanium exhaust system, reduced weight and Öhlins shock absorbers as an option.

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