In case you were blind and deaf and on vacation on Mars so you didn’t notice it, there’s an ongoing European turf war involving the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
In the latest development stage of the battle we now have Renault, which took its time and commissioned from the well-known Renault Sport division a hardcore Megane RS 275 Trophy-R special edition. And because they do mean business, the car has just took down the front-wheel drive record on the Nürburgring.
It’s just a month ago that the French officially outed their latest weapon against the – now – previous owner of the record, Seat’s Leon Cupra 280, called the Megane RS 275 Trophy. The potent hot hatch has been further improved with this iteration, dubbed Trophy-R, judging by the four seconds improved new record for front-wheel drive cars, after it lapped the iconic Nordschleife in 7 minutes and 54.36 seconds.
While power – coming from the 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline in line four that churns out 275 hp (202 kW) and 360 Nm (265 lb-ft) is the same as in the regular Trophy version, and the R even has the same cup chassis (including limited-slip differential), there are some important modifications.
We have a titanium Akrapovic exhaust, adjustable Öhlins Road & Track suspension, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and the Trophy-R is around 100 kgs lighter – it lost its rear seats, next to almost all the unimportant sound-absorbing and insulating materials. There are also lighter – made of a single polycarbonate piece – Recaro seats, a smallish battery and no radio and air-conditioning.