Renault Sport has been at it again, the Nürburgring record that is, reclaiming top honours for a front-wheel-drive with the new Renault Mégane RS Trophy-R.
For some, the Nürburgring records have become old hat but, for others, it's a testament to the level of engineering that a manufacturer can achieve. Thus, we once again have a new record for front-wheel-drive cars thanks to Renault Sport and their Renault Mégane RS Trophy-R hot-hatch.
As the 'R' suggests, this version of the ever-popular Mégane is set up to race. Under the hood, you'll find the same 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine from the RS Trophy, pushing out the same 297bhp and 295lb ft of torque. Why, then, has it shaved 3.7 seconds off the Honda Civic Type-R's 7min 40.1sec? That is thanks to 130kg of weight saving and some magical technical hardware.
Renault Sport approached a variety of hi-performance part manufacturers to collaborate on this project. To handle the extensive loads put on the vehicles as they lap the Ring, core components have been upgraded or replaced with better parts. From Akrapovič's redesigned exhaust system to Brembo's bigger brakes to Öhlins dampers keeping the new carbon fibre wheels and Bridgestone rubber sticking to terra firma, everything has been developed with the record in mind.
The weight loss can be ascribed to those lighter rims and stripped out cabin including those obvious Sabelt bucket seats, among other things Renault has neglected to mention. To make the car stand apart from its siblings, it shreds the LED fog lights and receives a carbon fibre bonnet, the latter containing a large ram air scoop and louvres for ventilation.
Renault has said we'll receive more specific technical information at the end of June but, whatever they've done, they've done enough for the crown.
And this king of the FWD Ring is going to be a (very) limited edition, with no more than a few hundred Trophy-R's being made available later in the year.
Best you hit up your local dealer now if you want your name on that list.