As we speculated last week, Renault have revealed its new top-dog Renaultsport Mégane and chosen to name it Mégane RS 265 Trophy, after the Eurocup Mégane Trophy race series that has run in France since 2005. So, is this a successor to the R26.R?
Well If you type ‘Trophy’ and ‘Renaultsport’ into Google, you’ll find that it refers to the car used in the Eurocup single-make racing series. So whilst the new Mégane Renaultsport 265 Trophy is clearly not a literal successor to the previous generation R26.R, Renault don’t just stick the Trophy label on their cars willy-nilly unless they carry some serious credibility on the track.
Mégane Trophy race car with Mégane Renaultsport 265 Trophy
To find out just how much credibility they attach to the new 265 Trophy, you’ll have to tune in on the 17th June when Renaultsport are expected to announce its lap time around Germany’s Nürburgring. We understand this to be around 8-9 seconds faster than the R26.R’s lap of 8:17, so no doubt this will silence any of the critics who might otherwise accuse Renaultsport of going soft.
Specification and performance
Whilst the 265 Trophy does without the R26.R’s hard-core options such as a race harness, roll cage and titanium exhaust, it still comes pretty tricked-out as standard with its Cup chassis, Recaro seats with yellow seatbelts and detailing, 19″ Speedline alloys in gloss black with red rim, standard Liquid Yellow i.d. metallic paint, ‘Trophy’ red decals on F1-style front blade and doors, LED daytime running lights, Renaultsport Monitor on-board performance tracking – oh, and of course an extra 15bhp (now 261bhp) and 20Nm of torque (now 360Nm) resulting in an impressive power-to-weight ratio of 191hp per tonne..
Naturally it’s quicker than the standard Mégane 250, although not by much. The 265 Trophy dispatches the 0-62mph sprint in exactly six seconds (instead of 6.1), with a top speed of 158 mph (up by 2mph) and the 1,000km standing start in 25.4s (down 0.3s). In everyday driving, its 360Nm makes the 265 Trophy usefully driveable across a broad rev band between 3,000 and 5,000rpm.
To achieve these gains, Renaultsport have increased the engine’s maximum turbo pressure to 2.5 bar, up by 0.2, accompanied by a revised air intake to take account of the higher pressure and running temperatures.
In its reinforced armoury, the newcomer also features new Formula 1-inspired high-performance Bridgestone Potenza RE050A as seen on a plethora of the world’s finest sports cars and supercars. Their asymmetric, directional tread pattern and the form of its tread blocks provide outstanding grip, stability and acoustic comfort, regardless of conditions. Indeed, the outer part of the tread is similar to racing ‘slicks’, while the inner section is modeled on F1 wet-weather tyres.
Elsewhere, the new 265 Trophy retains the essence of the Mégane Renaultsport’s award-winning recipe, including the critically acclaimed Cup chassis (stiffer springs, dampers and anti-roll bar and grooved brake discs), mechanical limited slip differential, Brembo brakes, as well as the innovative PerfoHub independent steering axis front suspension set-up, which virtually eliminates torque steer.
Prices and availability
The new Mégane Renaultsport 265 Trophy is available to order from 20th June, priced at £27,820 on-the-road, with first deliveries in late July 2011. This is quite an aggressive pricing strategy by Renault UK compared to its €35,500 starting price in France. The 265 Trophy will also be sold in Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia.
In the UK there is just a single option, a gloss Renault i.d. Diamond Black roof at £415 which can be combined with Liquid Yellow i.d. metallic paint or Black metallic paint for the full stealth look. Elsewhere in Europe, the 265 Trophy will be available in a new Sirius Yellow paint finish as an alternative to Glacier White, Etoilé Black and Cassiopée Grey.
To make up for the fewer paint choices, Renault UK are also offering new owners of the 265 Trophy access to the full 2012 Renaultsport UK trackday calendar, worth around £650, giving them the opportunity to revel in the track-bred qualities of the ultimate Mégane Renaultsport around some of the country’s finest circuits, including Brands Hatch and Silverstone.
In addition to aggressive pricing, exclusivity is assured for the flagship Mégane, through a limited production run of only 500 examples worldwide, just 50 of which are destined for the UK. The car will be on show at the Renault Sport Day which forms part of the Renault Sport Enthusiasts Day programme at the Nürburgring, Germany, on June 17, 2011.