The limited edition Renault Mégane RS Trophy 265 has been launched in South Africa. Just 30 units will be available and while some of the cars have already been snapped up by enthusiasts, a few will still be looking for happy homes when the order books open in July.
The Renault Mégane RS is a car that needs no introduction. Launched at the Renault Knysna Hillclimb event in 2010, it’s become widely accepted as the best performance hatch in ‘Cup’ chassis form, while the less edgy ‘Sport’ chassis version stood along side with a little more ‘everyday’ appeal.
The foundation for the Trophy 265 edition lies with the Mégane’s existing ‘Cup’ chassis. As a refresher, both Renault Mégane RS models are powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and both have the same power outputs and performance figures. The major differences between the two cars are largely hidden beneath the sheet metal, in the form of mechanical tweaks for the RS Cup.
These include a limited-slip differential (LSD); 19-inch wheels; grooved Brembo 340 mm front brake discs; a 13 percent stiffer anti-roll bar in front and 7 percent stiffer at the rear; as well as 15 percent stiffer suspension damping over the standard RS. Renault’s decision to offer both a mild and hot version of the Mégane is unique in the market segment, giving buyers the choice of the Sport chassis for everyday driving, or the Cup chassis that is targeted at the sports car enthusiast.
The flagship Trophy 265 turns up the proverbial heat thanks to a number of cosmetic and mechanical changes.
Beginning with the styling, the Trophy 265 is available in an exclusive Sirius Yellow metallic paint (in addition to the choice of standard colours), with red detailing on the F1-inspired splitter, side sills, gloss-black 19-inch wheels and rear diffuser. A unique ‘Trophy’ logo is also positioned on each door. Xenon headlights with smoked surrounds are standard, as are new arrays of LED daytime running lights integrated into the splitter. A set of F1-inspired Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tyres are also standard fare.
The interior of the Mégane RS Cup remains a delight to performance aficionado’s, with key ingredients being: a chunky leather sports steering wheel; form hugging Recaro seats, complete with competition harness slots; dark carbon fibre inlays on the dashboard; as well as aluminium-faced pedals and foot rest. The Trophy edition is distinguished only by its yellow seat belts and unique numbered plaque. As with the current Mégane RS Cup, the Trophy 265 features the RS Monitor, which provides logging and real-time display of various performance data that owners will appreciate during track days.
Powered by a 2.0-litre, 16-valve, turbocharged engine, the current Mégane RS produces 184 kW of power at 5 500 r/min, matched to 340 Nm of torque at 3 000 r/min. The new Trophy 265, however, has been tweaked to produce 195 kW at 5 500 r/min and 360 Nm between 3 000 – 5 000 r/min. The gains are primarily achieved by means of a higher boost pressure of 2.5 bar (up from 2.3 bar) and a new air intake design. Renault claim these changes are enough to improve the benchmark 0 – 100 km/h sprint by 0.1 seconds to 6.0 seconds and increase the top speed to 254 km/h (up from an electronically limited 250 km/h).
The extent of my introduction to the new car was a 800 m sprint, from a standing start, down the runway of Plettenberg Bay Airport. The only conclusion to be made from this momentary encounter, is that the Trophy 265 is fast by hot hatch standards and that the pairing between the weighty clutch and lively throttle may require some practice to master. The Mégane RS Trophy 265 will be the headline act at the annual, Renault-sponsored Simola Hillclimb in Knysna, where media, including yours truly, will be battling for honours in the 2.0-litre turbocharged Class A1 on Sat 19 and Sun 20 May, 2012.
With slim chances of you managing to purchase one of thirty Trophy 265 models, you may understandably be feeling a little deflated. There is good news, however, as the Trophy edition is in fact a forerunner to the updated 2012 Renault Mégane RS range. This means 2012 Mégane RS models will also benefit from the additional increases in power and torque, as well as the revised splitter with integrated LEDs. Even better news is that the prices remain unchanged at R359 900 for the Mégane RS Sport and R399 900 for the Mégane RS Cup.
We intend to bring you a more detailed review of the new 2012 Mégane in due course, but until then I’ll leave you with news that the Mégane RS Trophy currently holds the title as the fastest front-wheel drive car around the Nürburgring Nordschleife with a time of 08:07.97, a full 8.93 seconds faster than the Renault Mégane RS R26.R. Watch the video.
|Renault Mégane RS Sport||R359 900|
|Renault Mégane RS Cup||R399 900|
|Renault Mégane RS Cup||R409 900|
Prices include a 5-year/100 000 km service plan and 5-year/150 000 km warranty. Service intervals are every 15 000 km.