RENAULT MEGANE RS 300 TROPHY
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
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.
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.
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.
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.