RE­NAULT MEGANE RS 300 TRO­PHY

Driven - - LAUNCHED - Re­port by LER­ATO MATEBESE | Im­ages © RE­NAULT SA

While we are yet to drive the model, we know that it takes the ba­sic Megane RS Cup recipe and cranks things up a few notches. Th­ese in­clude, among oth­ers, a more pow­er­ful en­gine mak­ing 221 kW hence the 300 suf­fix, which refers to the en­gine out­put in horse­power. There are Tro­phy de­cals on the front flanks and red-tinged 19” spi­der-webbed-like Jerez al­loy wheels

CRASH DIET

A few weight-sav­ing mea­sures have also been adopted, chief of which is the bi-ma­te­rial brake discs – that are clamped by stan­dard red Brembo brake cal­lipers - shed up to 1.8 kg at each cor­ner, while even the bat­tery in the Tro­phy model is much lighter than that in other Megane RS mod­els.

CABIN

A pair of lighter Re­caro chairs cov­ered in Al­can­tara, re­plete with red sig­na­ture stitch­ing that also fes­toons the gear and hand­brake levers, the steer­ing wheel and in­stru­ment clus­ter are all part of the pack­age. The 8.7” touch­screen in­fo­tain­ment still takes cen­tre stage and houses func­tions for the au­dio, climate con­trol and RS mon­i­tor set­tings for those race­track ex­ploits.

EN­GINE AND SUS­PEN­SION

Beat­ing un­der the Tro­phy’s bon­net is the now­fa­mil­iar 1.8-litre tur­bocharged en­gine that in this ap­pli­ca­tion pushes out 221 kW – a 16 kW jump from the Lux and Cup vari­ants – achieved from a higher turbo boost and a tur­bocharger fea­tur­ing a ce­ramic ball bear­ing is said to have im­proved throt­tle re­sponse.

The hard­core Re­nault Megane RS de­riv­a­tive has ar­rived in Mzansi, dubbed the RS 300 Tro­phy, this is the most fo­cussed model out­side of the un­com­pro­mis­ing and ex­pen­sive Tro­phy R that is of­fered in in­ter­na­tional mar­kets. So, be­fore get­ting all giddy, it would be pru­dent to point out that only 7 units of the RS 300 Tro­phy have been se­cured for SA, so prospects of own­ing one are few and far be­tween.

Torque, mean­while, sits at 400 Nm for the man­ual and 420 Nm for the EDC au­to­matic model. The sus­pen­sion is said to have stiffer (by 25%) dampers, and 30% stiffer springs, while the anti-roll bar gets a 10% rigid­ity up­grade all of which should give it a de­cid­edly, firm and un­com­pro­mis­ing ride qual­ity.

PER­FOR­MANCE

Power is still sent to the front wheels, while a Torsen lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tial is em­ployed to keep the power de­liv­ery in check. With a 5.7 sec­ond 0-100 km/h sprint time, the Tro­phy is not geared to win any traf­fic light show­downs, but rather to carve cor­ners with fine alacrity. Whether it is bet­ter than our firm favourite hot hatch, the Honda Type R or in­deed the new­est kid on the block yet im­pres­sive Hyundai i30 N re­mains to be seen.

LAST WORD

Priced at R774,900 for the man­ual and R799,900, the Megane RS Tro­phy is de­cid­edly ex­pen­sive com­pared to some ri­vals, as to whether this is quan­tifi­able in its on-road tal­ents is some­thing we will re­serve once we have sam­pled the model.

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