The mighty hot hatchback that set new lap records for front-wheel drive cars at both the Nurburgring and Spa-Francorchamps has gone on sale to the public at last.
Just 500 examples of the Renault Megane R.S Trophy-R will be made, with 32 confirmed for the UK market. High-end supplier names are splashed all over it like a Fast & Furious sticker set: there are trick Ohlins dampers, a tailor-made Akrapovic titanium exhaust and a couple of carbon body panels – namely the bonnet and the rear diffuser.
Brembo supplies epic brakes, Bridgestone the sticky Potenza S007 rubber and Sabelt the lightweight bucket seats, because racecar (for the road). The Trophy-R has cast 130 of the regular Trophy’s kilograms aside, partly thanks to a carbonfibre bonnet and matching rear diffuser.
Up front the 296bhp, 295lb ft turbocharged 1.8-litre petrol engine may not seem especially exotic when some all-wheel drive rivals are pushing 400bhp or more, but this car is all about cramming as much functional automotive exotica into one ultra-exclusive hot hatch as possible.
When you’re specifying one, though, the numbers involved are terrifying. The base car costs £51,140 on the road; about £5000 more than a base Alpine A110. To add the carbon wheel pack takes the price to £63,140 but saves 2kg per corner, while for the full-fat Nurburgring Record spec the total is £72,140. That is not a typo.
Renault says the most expensive version of the stripped-out car is exactly the same as the one piloted to the two phenomenal lap records by Renault Sport test driver Laurent Hurgon. It gets huge carbon ceramic discs, gold-painted Brembo calipers and a ‘dynamic air intake’ that both saves 2kg and improves cooling.
Optionally, all buyers can swap the battery to a lightweight item that saves 4.5kg, six-point racing harnesses and a modified air intake. If you want a genuine racecar, brand new, perfectly focused and so rare that it makes rocking horse poo look like silver Ford Fiestas, what else can you pick for about £70,000?