Pros: Impressive handling, sporty design, rapid acceleration
Cons: Firm seating, expensive to run, better suited on the track
When it comes to hot hatchbacks it's hard to look too far past the iconic Renault Megane R.S. Since it was launched by the French manufacturers in 2004, the Megane R.S has faced talented competition from the likes of the Honda Civic Type R, Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen Golf R. We drove the new Megane R.S 300 Trophy on Irish roads to see how this performance hatch handles off the track for everyday life.
On the outside, the look of the R.S Trophy model differentiates itself from the regular model with “Trophy” decals and R.S Jerez triple tone 19-inch alloy wheels. Along with the bright ‘Liquid Yellow’ colour of our test car, the Megane R.S Trophy doesn’t exactly blend in on Irish Roads.
At the front, a wider bumper includes an F1 style splitter that works to channel airflow and cool the engine. The bumper is surrounded either side by specific R.S Vision lighting which embodies the Renault Motorsport look.
Along the sides, the R.S looks sculpted and muscular with air extractors and flared sills giving a sporty profile. The rear of the R.S has also been designed with performance in mind. Side air outlets channel airflow either side of the striking twin central exhaust pipe in the middle of the bumper.
As soon as you sit inside the Megane R.S Trophy you feel like you are in a racing car. Our test car was equipped with Renault Sport Recaro seats with Alcantara upholstery and red stitching, which at first feels stiff but provides great support whilst driving. With the Trophy model, you also get R.S leather and Alcantara steering wheel with R.S. badging as standard.
The Megane R.S Trophy is designed to enhance performance and power even further than that of the regular R.S model. The Trophy model is equipped with a Cup chassis as standard that boasts stiffer suspension and a Torsen mechanical limited-slip differential that enables better cornering and traction. You can really feel the firmness of the car as you build your speed, with the 4CONTROL 4-wheel steering system the R.S locks itself down to the road and gives you the feeling of complete control.
R.S. Drive allows you to select your driving mode (Neutral, Sport and Race) on the touch screen and adapt the gearbox mapping, ESP behaviour, steering weight and throttle pedal mapping. As you switch between driving modes via Multi-Sense you can really hear the new dual sound exhaust valve system growl and pop, particularly in Sport and Race modes.
The 300 hp threshold of the R.S Trophy is achieved by its 1.8L turbo injection engine with "ball bearing" turbo technology from the world of Formula 1. The R.S Trophy reaches 0-100km in 5.7 seconds, with an impressive top speed of 260 km/h, which obviously won't ever be reached off the race track.
The regular Megane R.S with the RS Tce 280 engine starts at €41,995. It is available in both manual or automatic transmission. Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, R.S sports seats, cruise control, rear parking sensors and a digital speedometer. Optional extras include a safety pack, parking pack, Bose sound system pack or the addition of a cup chassis pack that includes the cup chassis, red brake callipers and the limited-slip differential.
The R.S Trophy starts at €47,245 and includes the cup chassis with 4 hydraulic compression stops and limited-slip differential, red brake callipers and custom springs/shock absorbers. It also includes 19-inch Interlagos Diamond-cut alloy wheels, Alcantara steering wheel and a rear parking camera as standard.
The Renault Megane R.S 300 Trophy is a high-performance hatchback that embodies Renault motorsport. Its impressive handling and powerful engine give you a thrilling ride and certainly arouse you’re driving instincts. The R.S Trophy is the perfect car if you are planning to visit the track on a regular basis but may be overkill for popping to the shops.
Model: Megane R.S Trophy
Starting Price: €41,995
Price of Test Car: €50,970
Engine: TCe 300 EDC
Fuel Type: Petrol
Transmission: 6 -Speed EDC Dual-Clutch (Automatic)
Top Speed: 260 KM/H
Motor Tax: €750
Colour: Liquid Yellow
Volkswagen Golf R
Honda Civic Type R
Ford Focus ST