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2019 Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R

2019 Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R

The Trophy-R is the most hardcore Megane Renault ever created

The 2019 Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R is about as close as it gets to being the cap stone for the front-wheel drive hot hatch pyramid. It is the most extreme version of the current Megane RenaultSport and it makes the regular model look tame and watered down by comparison.

It is the even more extreme version of the Megane R.S. 300 Trophy, which, in turn, is more hardcore than the base Megane RenaultSport. The 300 Trophy already has plenty of go-faster mods, such as a standard Torsen limited-slop differential, a stiffer suspension setup complete with trick dampers that feature a hydraulic bumptstop, as well as bigger brakes and extra power extracted out of its 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder.

The Trophy-R takes things a step further: most of its performance gain comes from the weight shedding of 130 kilograms (286 pounds) and some enhanced aero. Renault engineers also removed the 4Control four-wheel steering system not only to make the car lighter, but to also give it a more consistent feel when driven quickly around a track. This and other mods result is a car that currently holds the front-wheel drive lap record around the Nurburgring Nordschleife, which is no surprise, because that’s what it was designed to do (and also be the quickest and most focused vehicle of its type).

It’s also definitely got future classic written all over it. Only 500 examples will be made, all with a manual six-speed gearbox, stripped out interior (with a deleted back seat) and unique graphics. The high asking price might put some off it, but for those hardcore enthusiasts who are willing to spend more than 50 percent more on a Trophy-R than they would on the regular RenaultSport Megane (in order for the car to come fitted with the Nürburgring Record Pack), the difference will be worth it.

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2018 Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy

2018 Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy

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.

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All Changes Contrived by Renault Sport To Brew The Hardcore Megane RS Trophy

All Changes Contrived by Renault Sport To Brew The Hardcore Megane RS Trophy

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.

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2018 Renault Megane R.S.

2018 Renault Megane R.S.

The go-faster Megane is here and it’s glorious!

Renault Shifted the Megane into a new generation for the 2016 model year, bring about an all-new look that was more refined and sportier than ever. For 2018, it was time to introduce the all-new Megane R.S., a model that puts the rest of the hot hatch segment in check with its wide stance, unique body lines, commanding front end, and a motorsport-inspired, functional rear diffuser. And, at around $37,000 at current exchange rates, it’s an affordable proposition as well.

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2019 Alpine SUV

2019 Alpine SUV

Alpine’s second modern vehicle is aimed at the Porsche Macan

Shut down in 1995, Renault’s Alpine brand made a comeback 22 years later with a modern interpretation of its iconic A110 sports car. Developed on a bespoke platform and using a design that’s both modern and linked to the original car, the A110 is Renault’s long-awaited response to the Porsche Cayman and the Alfa Romeo 4C. But Alpine isn’t planning to stop here. Word has it that a convertible version of the A110 is also in the works, and the French firm also wants to jump on the SUV bandwagon. Why? Because everyone is doing it nowadays. But what’s this SUV going to be bring to the table?

I’m going to provide an answer to that question in the speculative review below, which includes not only the latest information and rumors but also a detailed rendering of the Alpine-badged hauler. A release date is not yet available, but given that we have yet to see any prototypes on the road, it’s safe to assume that it won’t happen sooner than late 2018. All told, this SUV won’t be available until the 2019 model year. That’s a long wait, but we already have a few juicy details about what’s coming.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2018 Alpine A110 Premiere Edition

2018 Alpine A110 Premiere Edition

First wave of A110 models will be limited to just 1,955 units and priced at a little over $66K

The Alpine A110 will likely go down as one of the most memorable sports cars launches in 2017. It marks a return from the ashes for the Alpine brand and it finally came after three years of being in development. Needless to say, a lot of people looked forward to the A110’s debut, and by and large, it didn’t disappoint. And if the positive reception surrounding the sports car isn’t enough, all of us can now look forward to the first special edition version of the A110. It’s called the A110 Premiere Edition, and it’s all set to be revealed at the Salon Price later this month.

As you can expect, the A110 Premiere Edition will come with exclusive features that “standard” versions of the sports car will come without. Most of these upgrades are of the cosmetic variety so don’t expect any power bumps to happen to the car’s 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It’s still going to produce 252 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, numbers that are actually impressive for a sports car with a four-cylinder engine. What you can expect though is that the A110 will be limited to just 1,955 units, the number that references the year Alpine was founded.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Alpine A110 Premiere Edition.

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2017 Renault Alpine A110

2017 Renault Alpine A110

The Alpine brand returns with a sports car aimed at the mighty Porsche 718 Cayman

It took Renault about three years to transform the 2012 Alpine A110-50 Concept into a production-friendly vehicle, and the road-ready sports car is finally ready to hit the market. Come 2017 and the French company relaunched the Alpine brand at the Geneva Motor Show. As expected, the production model shares many design features with the concept cars Alpine showcased in recent years. The most recent of them is dubbed Alpine Celebration Concept and broke cover ahead of the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was featured again a couple of weeks later in the year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and looked ready to hit the streets with minor modifications here and there.

As the name suggests, the Celebration Concept celebrated six decades since Alpine was established in Dieppe, France. Also, it pays homage to the classic 1961 -1973 Alpine A110, a sports car the French built from 1961 to 1977. Introduced as an evolution of the A108, the two-door "Berlinette" was designed by Giovanni Michelotti and used a rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. Among being Alpine’s most iconic model, the A110 was also a successful race car, winning the manufacturer’s title at the end of 1973 World Rally Championship. All told, the new Alpine has a lot of heritage to build on and this is more than evident in the final production model.

Continue reading to learn more about the new Renault Alpine.

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Petrolicious Shows Some Love To The Dinalpin A110

Petrolicious Shows Some Love To The Dinalpin A110

It’s the Franco-Mexican cousin of the Renault Alpine A110 like you haven’t seen before

The Renault Alpine 110 is arguably one of the French automaker’s best creations. It’s also one of those models whose history extends all the way to Mexico. Yep. From France to Mexico…to Spain…to Bulgaria where it was named "Bulgaralpine.” That’s the story of the Dinalpin A110, a Renault Alpine 110 that was built under license by the DINA company in Mexico.

The weird history notwithstanding, the Dinalpin A110 is actually a great-looking car, at least if you don’t try to stare too long at the three-lug wheels. One such owner of the Franco-Mexican sports car is Dave Griffiths, who got a lead for the car after winning one on an auction site in Puerto Rico. Eventually, Griffiths found himself with a Dinalpin A110 and proceed to restore the car, giving it some hot rod love with drivetrain parts from the Renault Alpine parts bin.

Eventually, he got his Dinalpin A110 to produce 120 horsepower, double the output of the original model. Sure, the output isn’t anything to get excited about, but with a weight of just 1,500 pounds, there’s enough power-to-weight ratio there to make it more than just an ordinary Dinalpin A110. And to think that Griffiths ended up with this car by wasting time on the Internet.

Oh, look! A Ferrari Testarossa!

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2016 Renault Clio R.S. 16 Concept

2016 Renault Clio R.S. 16 Concept

The quickest and most powerful Clio in history!

The fourth-generation Renault Clio was unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show with a significantly redesigned body and interior as well as brand-new and updated engines. Unlike its predecessors, it didn’t receive three-door hatchback and sedan versions, being offered only as a five-door hatch or five-door estate. The Clio IV is underpinned by the Alliance B platform co-developed by Renault and Nissan in the late 1990s, but features comprehensive updates that makes it suitable for the 21st century. The fourth-gen hatch also spawns a new track-ready model, the R.S. 200, as well as a limited-edition R.S. 220 Trophy EDC with output increased from 197 horsepower to 217 horsepower.

In 2016, Renault’s high-performance division has unleashed yet another R.S.-badged Clio. Unveiled at the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix on May 27, the new beefed-up hatch wears the R.S. 16 moniker. Although new in this configuration, the "16" numeral was originally introduced on the first-generation Clio, with the 16S being used in certain markets for a performance-oriented version that replaced the 5 GT Turbo. The current name is actually identical to that of the 2016 season Formula One car.

Created to mark the Renault Sport’s 40th anniversary and to celebrate the brand’s return as a Formula One team, the new hatch is the highest performance road-going R.S. model in history and was developed in only five months. Unfortunately, it is only a concept for now and the French firm didn’t say whether it will spawn a production model or not.

“Our aim was to produce a concept car with genuinely outstanding performance credentials,” said Patrice Ratti, Managing Director of Renault Sport Cars. “On paper, producing a Clio R.S. powered by our most potent engine was an extremely appealing idea, but we had to make sure it was feasible.”

Until Renault gives us more information about the production potential of the R.S. 16 concept, let’s have a closer look at what it brings to the table in the detailed review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Renault Clio R.S. KZ 01.

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2016 Renault Clio 220 Trophy EDC by Waldow Performance

2016 Renault Clio 220 Trophy EDC by Waldow Performance

Hot hatch becomes more lethal in every way imaginable

Performance hatchbacks have become so popular these days that it seems that just about every automaker has one in its lineup. Some companies only joined the hot hatch race in recent years, while others have been around for so long they might as well be considered godfathers of today’s hot hatches.

One company that counts itself as belonging in the latter group is Renault. Yep, the French automaker has been building these pocket rockets about as long as most people can remember. That tradition remains alive today in the form of two cars: the Renault Mégane RS 275 Cup-S and the Clio RS 220 Trophy EDC. The latter, in particular, only made its debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show but in the year since, it has already made an impression in the tuning world.

Waldow Performance is the latest tuner to take a stab at the Clio RS 220 Trophy EDC and the German tuner wasted little time giving it a full-scale overhaul on multiple facets of the hot hatch. The objective, it seems, is to make the Clio RS 220 Trophy EDC more performance-conscious than it already is. That may be a challenge considering the lengths Renault already took to achieve that goal, but to its credit, Waldow Performance proved to be up to the task in giving the hot hatch the upgrades it needed to become even more of a threat on the road and the track.

There’s plenty to go by as far as the modifications are concerned. It’s a fitting upgrade for a hot hatch that already packs quite a punch by itself.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

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2018 Renault Alpine Convertible

2018 Renault Alpine Convertible

The new Alpine sports car will grow into a full lineup and we think a convertible model is next

Shut down in 1995 after four decades on the market, the Alpine brand has struggled to return to the market for five years. Having showcased a number of concept cars since 2012, Alpine finally unveiled its first new car in two decades for 2017. Called the A110, it’s a modern rendition of the original A110 sports car and comes into dealerships with big goals, one of which being to compete with the Porsche 718 Cayman. Now that we the highly anticipated Alpine sports car is ready to hit the streets, the company is likely already planning its expansion, because let’s face it, you can’t survive with just one product unless your name is Bugatti.

We already know Alpine is pondering an SUV and a proper sports car family, but the French have yet to talk about it in detail. However, it’s safe to assume that the said sports car lineup will revolve around this new coupe and that the first derivative will be an open-top version. With that in mind, we rendered a convertible model based on the new A110 and put together a speculative review about what it might bring to the table. Keep reading to find out more about the drop-top sports car that could challenge the Porsche 718 Boxster.

Continue reading to learn more about the Renault Alpine Convertible.

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2015 Renault Megane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S

2015 Renault Megane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S

The increasing popularity of hot-hatches in Europe has given rise to an arms race of sorts among automakers in that part of the world. At the forefront of this is the Renault Mégane Sport, aka the Mégane RS. Bursting to life in 2004, the Mégane RS has become one of the most highly regarded hot-hatches in the world, including being named the “best hot hatch” by both What Car and Top Gear. Now Renault has launched the Mégane RS 275 Cup-S.

The launch of the Mégane RS 275 Cup-S paints a bright future for a hot-hatch segment that is suddenly welcoming a bunch of these cars into the fold. In addition to the Mégane RS 275 Cup-S, the 2016 Volkswagen Golf R and the 2016 Ford Focus RS are two other models in search of some bragging rights.

Supercars and sports cars will still be the preferred vehicles for those looking for high-powered joy rides. But hot-hatches like the Mégane RS 275 Cup-S are proof that customers can still satisfy their appetites for speed without having to dig too far down into their wallets.

The Renault Mégane RS 275 Cup-S will make its official debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mégane Renaultsport 275 Cup-S.

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2015 Renault Alpine Celebration Concept

2015 Renault Alpine Celebration Concept

After years of rumors, a concept car, and a sudden cancellation of its partnership with Caterham, Alpine has finally unveiled a near-production version of its upcoming sports car. Brought into the spotlight six decades since the brand was established in Dieppe, France, and exactly 20 years since it had been declared defunct, the Alpine Celebration Concept made its maiden appearance ahead of the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The vehicle’s debut at the Circuit de la Sarthe is far from just a marketing move, as Alpine has a long and storied history with Le Mans, where its cars had raced in large numbers in the 1960s. What’s more, the Alpine A442B won the iconic race in 1978, defeating a horde of Porsche 936s ran by both factory teams and privateers. Lastly, the Celebration Concept made its rolling debut on the same track Alpine has been racing in the LMP2 class for three consecutive years.

Even though Renault didn’t say when the production car is due to arrive (I expect that to happen in 2016), the Celebration Concept will attend a number of special events throughout 2015, including the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Alpine Saga reunion in Dieppe. Meanwhile, let’s have a closer look at the concept that signals the return of Alpine as a road car manufacturer.

Update 10/7/2015: The Renault-Alpine Celebration Concept was recently filmed at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Continue reading to learn more about the Renault Alpine Celebration Concept.

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