If you’re about to order a Honda Civic Type R - or any other circa £30k hot hatch, for that matter - here’s something that may make you hesitate. There’s a new contender vying for your affections from Renault: the Megane RS300 Trophy.
First revealed a few months ago, Renault has now put a price tag on the most focused version of the Megane. It starts at £31,810 on-the-road, a few hundred quid more than a Honda Civic Type R, perhaps its closest competitor. And the holder of the front-wheel drive Nurburgring record, something which the new Trophy may well have a go at next year.
For that, you’re getting the Cup chassis as standard (comprising a stiffer suspension setup and a mechanical limited-slip differential), a boost in power to 296bhp, a more responsive ceramic ball turbocharger, a new exhaust and fade-resistant bi-material brake discs.
Want to swap that manual gearbox for a six-speed twin-clutch automatic? You’ll have to pay a little more - the auto version starts at £33,510.
The 19-inch ‘Fuji’ alloy wheels won’t be available until 2019, but it may well be worth waiting for these before putting your name down. Not only do they reduce unsprung mass by 2kg a corner, but they’re also shod in Bridgestone Potenza S007s. They’re effectively Bridgestone’s answer to Michelin’s PS4 S. And therefore rather good.
If you’re happy with the standard 19-inch ‘Jerez’ rims and their Potenza S001s, you can order an RS300 today.