17/07/2019

New Mégane R.S. Trophy-R “very similar to a racing car”

Technical details about the latest Mégane R.S. Trophy-R are now available since we reported on its record breaking exploits around Germany’s Nürburgring (Nordschleife) circuit in June’s newsletter.
  • Megane Trophy R 03 .jpg
  • Megane Trophy R 02.jpg
  • Megane Trophy R 01.jpg

The Trophy-R reclaimed the lap record for a front-wheel-drive production for Renault Sport with a time of 7 minutes, 40.1 seconds.

Renault Sport have now revealed just what makes its latest Trophy-R so special.

Oh, and before we get started it has been confirmed that prices will be announced and orders will open in August with the first UK deliveries of the car arriving in October.

Firstly, the Trophy-R benefits from an eye-watering weight saving of 130kg over the ‘standard’ new Mégane R.S. (bringing it down to 1,306kg on the scales).

This has been achieved, in part, thanks to the following:

  • Carbon composite bonnet (-8kgs)
  • Akrapovič titanium exhaust (-6kgs)
  • Bespoke rear axle (-32kgs)
  • Fuji Light 19” alloy wheel (-2kgs per corner) or the optional Carbon Revolution wheels (a further 2kgs per corner)
  • Manual six-speed gearbox only (lighter than the dual-clutch EDC transmission)

This is not everything and indeed the weight saving has also moved inside the car to a smaller centre console plus even thinner boot floor and front and rear side window glass!

Only the front seats remain and these have saved a further 7kgs each, having replaced by Sabelt composite monocoque racing versions.

The trademark R.S. Vision driving lamps can also, optionally, be replaced by additional air intakes.

Secondly, there have been some notable upgrades under the skin…

Of significance, the lightened ‘H’ rear axle also does away with the car’s 4CONTROL four-wheel-steering technology.

The revised front suspension’s negative camber has been increased by one degree (taking it 2.05ᵒ in total).

A specially developed Bridgestone Potenza S007 tyre comes as standard only on the Trophy-R (optional on the R.S 300 Trophy).

There is also the option of switching to carbon ceramic brakes – a first in the Mégane R.S.’s sector.

Thirdly, aerodynamics have been put under the microscope and, using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods, tweaked under the car’s wheel arches and floor.

The staggering results are:

  • Max speed: 163mph
  • Acceleration 0-62 mph: 5.4 seconds
  • Acceleration 31-75mph in 3rd gear: 2.9 seconds
  • Standing kilometre: 24.5 seconds

Renault Sport has confirmed that just 500 versions of the Trophy-R will be made globally and 30 of those will be ultra exclusive featuring an additional four carbon wheels (secured by a Sabelt netting and sub-frame behind the front seats), plus a ‘carbon ceramic pack’ (combining the carbon ceramic front brake discs with the dynamic air intake in place of R.S. Vision headlights).

Patrice Ratti, Renault Sport Cars’ General Manager, enthused:“New Mégane R.S. Trophy-R completes the Mégane R.S. range with a more extreme version.

“It is very similar to a racing car, but is certified for the public highway.

“We know there are customers looking for this type of car, and not every driver should be put behind the wheel of such a car.

“For the engineers it’s an opportunity to concentrate their know-how to produce the fastest car possible. The Nürburgring record is a demonstration of that performance.”

To re-cap, the latest Trophy-R’s time around the Nürburgring is now some 28 seconds faster than was managed when Renault Sport first captured the circuit’s FWD record eight years ago:

  • 2008: Mégane R.S. R26.R in 8 minutes 17 seconds.
  • 2011: Mégane R.S. Trophy in 8 minutes 07.97 seconds.
  • 2014: Mégane III R.S. Trophy-R in 7 minutes 54.36 seconds.
  • 2019: The New Mégane R.S. Trophy-R in 7 minutes 40.1 seconds

The last word, for now, goes to its test and development driver, Laurent Hurgon who also set each of those times.

“It enables you to drive round bends at speeds that are completely off the map in this segment.

“That means you have to set the rear axle properly to control oversteer.

“The steering is precise as a scalpel, with its very direct reduction ratio. The brakes are ultra-powerful: carbon brings consistency and bite, so you can brake later and manage gradual braking more effectively.

“Although the aerodynamics push the car down onto the track, you still have be ultra-precise in your driving.

“It’s a demanding car that needs you to be humble if you want to learn to control it, but which will be exciting for customers, because there will always be room for improvement!”