It is the most powerful production car from Renault’s Sport Division

I can only infer that the importance of hot hatches in Europe is on par with the importance of muscle cars in the U.S. They are a must-have for every company that wants to do any business there. Renault and its division - Renault Sport - always did a really good job in this department with the overachieving Clio RS and Megane RS cars. Today, a new one emerged. Following the habits of the past, Renault Sport revealed the new Megane RS Trophy. It’s a car based on the regular RS but bathed with small tweaks to make it ever so faster, hardcore, and slightly meaner. It is a track weapon that tackles the monstrosity of the Honda Civic Type R, or the sophisticated gem the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport is. I will go even further and give Hyundai the courtesy of joining this exclusive group with its stunning Hyundai i30 N. I am fairly certain that the Megane RS and the Megane RS Trophy are fighting for supremacy with it too.

This is the most powerful production car Renault Sport has unveiled up to this point. The RS 1.8-liter turbocharged engine has been tuned with F1 tech and is now producing 296 horsepower. This is not the end of it as I suspect the Megane RS Trophy-R will come sometime in the future.

What Kind Of Magic Did Renault Sport Do To The 1.8-liter?

All Changes Contrived by Renault Sport To Brew The Hardcore Megane RS Trophy Exterior
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As one of the most anticipated engines in quite some time, the 1.8-liter in the Megane RS is actually a stretched-out version of the 1.6-liter, turbocharged unit from the Clio RS

As one of the most anticipated engines in quite some time, the 1.8-liter in the Megane RS is actually a stretched-out version of the 1.6-liter, turbocharged unit from the Clio RS. The engine is used even for the new, brisk, Alpine A110 cars. While fairly well motivated with 276 horsepower in the “regular” Megane RS, the engine has been finely tuned for the Megane RS Trophy. Not only to deliver more power and torque but to be compliant with the new WLTP emission and consumption standards, as well as Euro 6d-Temp regulations. Volkswagen had to trick out its high-performance engine too, remember. You may have heard that the 2.0-liter from the Golf R actually lost ten horsepower due to new regulations. Renault Sport went a bit further than Volkswagen and used their F1 experience to create an even more powerful engine than before, but also compliant with the new regulations.

All Changes Contrived by Renault Sport To Brew The Hardcore Megane RS Trophy Drivetrain
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Don’t let that tame sound trick you as the new turbocharger is responsible for a 20-horsepower gain (296 horsepower) and up to 310 pound-feet of torque

The most important change is the installation of the redesigned turbocharger with a ceramic ball bearings that reduce friction and enables the turbocharger to spin up faster, as well as up to 200,000 rpm. Renault says that the ceramic ball bearing reduces friction by a factor of three. Adding an all-new exhaust was the next step in the process. Despite the installation of yet another more restrictive particulate filter, the exhaust features a special mechanical valve enabling the driver to open it or close it at a touch of the RS button on the dash. Press it once, and you may hear the burble of the 1.8-liter more clearly as the valve lowered the back pressure and gave the engine that much more breathing freedom. When the valve is shut the engine sounds a tiny bit tamer and subdued.

Don’t let that tame sound trick you as the new turbocharger is responsible for a 20-horsepower gain (296 horsepower) and up to 310 pound-feet of torque. More than what you get out of the Megane RS (276 horsepower and 288 pound-feet of torque).

Two Six Speed Transmission Options Available

All Changes Contrived by Renault Sport To Brew The Hardcore Megane RS Trophy Interior
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Renault Sport prepared the Megane RS Trophy with either a six-speed EDC double-clutch transmission or a six-speed manual.

Renault Sport prepared the Megane RS Trophy with either a six-speed EDC double-clutch transmission or a six-speed manual. Sure, the EDC will get you some fine paddles behind the wheel, but it will also grant you all 310 pound-feet of torque. See, the Megane RS Trophy with the manual transmission can’t handle more than 295 pound-feet of torque. In its official press release, Renault Sport disclosed that the EDC can actually transfer all 310 torques thanks to some special mapping. I am not exactly sure what was mapped, but hey, if you want the full grunt of the finely tuned 1.8-liter, you better go for the EDC. You’ll get a quicker car.

The official specs for the Megane RS Trophy showcase that the manual version will do 62 mph in 5.7 seconds (0.1 seconds quicker than the Megane RS), but the EDC equipped car will be even quicker. Unfortunately, Renault Sport did not disclose by how much.

Cup Chassis Comes As Standard

All Changes Contrived by Renault Sport To Brew The Hardcore Megane RS Trophy Drivetrain
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The main differences compared with the RS include 30 percent stiffer springs, 25 percent stiffer dampers, and 10 percent stiffer anti-roll bars.

Renault Sport offered two versions of the Megane RS. First, the regular one which is a bit more forgiving on the back and kidneys and then the Megane RS Cup. The Cup stands for Cup chassis which sports slightly more hardcore features and comes as standard on the Megane RS Trophy car. The main differences compared with the RS include 30 percent stiffer springs, 25 percent stiffer dampers, and 10 percent stiffer anti-roll bars. It is quite an improvement over the standard chassis. Yet, you will only feel the difference in grip or lateral acceleration on the track. All the additions are further enhanced by the Torsen limited-slip diff which greatly improves traction in the bends by transferring the power to the wheel with the grip. The Torsen limited slip-diff gives a definite edge to the Megane RS Trophy.

New wheels, New Brakes, And Less Weight For The Trophy

All Changes Contrived by Renault Sport To Brew The Hardcore Megane RS Trophy Exterior
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This year, the RS Trophy gained new 19-inch Jerez wheels with red spokes

Differentiating the Megane RS Trophy from the regular car has always been achieved with a few supple visual details. This year, the RS Trophy gained new 19-inch Jerez wheels with red spokes. This is the most obvious way to spot the RS Trophy in a sea of regular Megane RS cars.

However, rims shod in special Bridgestone Potenza 001 tires sit on aluminum hubs slightly lowering unsprung mass. Furthermore, the RS Trophy received new Brembo “bi-material” ventilated disc brakes. In this case, the “bi-material” means that the brakes have been made of aluminum and iron to lower the mass by up to 4 pounds per disk. Apparently, the new brakes are less prone to fading in track conditions.

All Changes Contrived by Renault Sport To Brew The Hardcore Megane RS Trophy Drivetrain
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The RS Trophy received new Brembo “bi-material” ventilated disc brakes

Although already seriously track-focused, Renault Sport will offer even more track worthy hardcore options for the RS Trophy. I find that the most astounding addition could be the lightweight Fuji wheels (they save 4.4 lbs of weight per wheel) with specially developed Bridgestone Potenza 007 tires. Adding this to an already impressive set of improvements will only elevate the capabilities of the most powerful Megane RS ever. Finally, the last piece of the kit on the suspension is the 4-wheel steering system 4Control. By steering the rear wheels by a few degrees, Renault achieved some stunning results and made the Megane RS feel far nimbler and sharper compared to similarly sized cars without the tech. I can only see this helping with stability and cornering abilities.

Final Touches

All Changes Contrived by Renault Sport To Brew The Hardcore Megane RS Trophy Interior
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Regardless of the seats you choose, you will sit almost an inch lower compared to the regular Megane RS

Although quite awesome in its regular trim, with the options Renault Sport provided, the Megane RS Trophy can become even more impressive. If it was up to me, I’d pick up those aforementioned Fuji wheels and add the optional Recaro sports seats. These offer more lateral support and look the business with all the Alcantara on them. Yet, regardless of the seats you choose, you will sit almost an inch lower compared to the regular Megane RS. Renault actually re-engineered the structure under the seats lowering them quite noticeably. It may be that this was Nico Hulkenberg’s (an F1 driver) idea as he was an integral part during the development of the new Megane RS Trophy.

"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 tires 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 said.

Performance

All Changes Contrived by Renault Sport To Brew The Hardcore Megane RS Trophy Exterior
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Although Renault Sport did not disclose the specs for the car with the EDC, we have the Renault Megane RS Trophy specs for a model with manual transmission.
I’ll just copy/paste them here from the Renault press release for you to enjoy:

Top speed: 162 mph
Standing kilometer: 24.8 seconds
0-62 mph: 5.7 seconds
50-75 mph (80-120 km h) in 3rd gear: 3.1 seconds
Front Ventilated discs: 355mm
Rear Ventilated discs: 290mm
Tires: 245/35 R19 Bridgestone Potenza 001
Minimum unladen curb weight: 3,128 lbs

Further Reading

2018 Renault Megane R.S.
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Read our full review on the 2018 Renault Megane RS.

2016 Renault Mégane GT High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Renault Megane GT.

2017 Renault Megane Sedan
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Read our full review on the 2017 Renault Megane Sedan.

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Read more Renault news.

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