Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R hot hatch sets front-wheel drive Nürburgring record

Record-breaking hatch will race into showrooms before the end of 2019

RENAULT says it has reclaimed its crown as maker of the fastest front-wheel drive production car around the Nürburgring, thanks to the hottest version of its Mégane hatchback yet.

With a time of 7m 40.1s, the 296bhp Renault Mégane R.S Trophy-R beats the previous fastest front-drive car (the Honda Civic Type R) around the 14-mile Nordschleife by 3.7 seconds.

The time also makes it a full 14.26 seconds quicker than the previous-generation Mégane Trophy-R, which set a time in 2011.

The new Trophy-R uses the exact same 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine as found under the bonnet of the regular R.S. Trophy, with improved performance coming predominantly from an ambitious weight loss programme. Renault says the Trophy-R tips the scales at 1,289kg, an impressive 130kg lighter than the “standard” Mégane R.S. Trophy. That’s like removing nearly two adults of average weight.

The Honda Civic Type R is a bit portlier, at 1,380kg, and the similarly-potent Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR is heavier still, at 1,410kg.

Despite the Trophy-R’s impressive performance, Renault is remaining coy over the car’s performance figures, such as its top speed and 0-62mph time. It’s also unknown how much hot hatch enthusiasts will need to spend in order to put a new Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy-R on their driveway.

It won’t be long until we find out, though, as the French firm has confirmed the car will go on sale before the end of 2019 as an exclusive limited edition of a few hundred units.

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