ohannesburg – Looking to pick a fight with the Hyundai i30N and Honda Civic Type R, not to forget the recently introduced Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, the new RenaultSport Megane R.S 300 Trophy has just been launched in South Africa.
It’s not cheap, let me warn you, coming in at R774 900 for the manual and R799 900 for the EDC dual-clutch automatic.
Before you write it off as being too expensive, let’s take a quick moment to assess what you get when you sign an OTP for one of the fastest Megane RS models of all time.
It looks racier than the standard model
On the outside, the Megane RS looks different to the standard Megane RS, that’s been on sale for a year already, thanks to an exclusive side panel with Trophy insignia, and a distinctive, sportier front bumper with an F1-inspired blade. It also gains a specific rear diffuser, an intelligent central-exit exhaust system and unique Jerez Tri-Tone 19-inch wheels.
Inside, it’s unique too with the addition of signature Recaro seats, finished in Alcantara, with red top-stitching. Other specific design cues within the cockpit include an Alcantara-covered steering wheel and a Zamak forged-aluminium gear knob and handbrake gaiter. Bespoke is the word that comes to mind, but that’s the last time I’ll use it, promise.
RenaultSport aims to save the manual
Offered with the choice of either six-speed manual or dual-clutch EDC gearboxes, and equipped with a more powerful version of the group’s 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine, you now get a thumping 221kW sent to the front wheels when your right foot is flat.
This added poke is partially thanks to upgrades to the turbo system, adding a ceramic ball bearing unit and an intelligent exhaust pipe with a dual-sound valve system.
Packed with Safety, comfort and tech
While the Trophy stands for the ultimate word in performance, RenaultSport has not compromised on specification; packing it with more features than you get in mid-size premium SUVs that cost the same amount of money.
Performance fanatics will appreciate the latest R.S. Monitor and Race Mode, for an “augmented” driving experience, while to keep you on the straight and narrow you also get unique “Bi-material” brakes developed with Brembo. Being a Trophy, you also get stiffer suspension with a Torsen mechanical limited-slip differential, enabling better cornering and traction.
One of the key USPs of the Megane RS, which has been carried over into the latest Trophy model is Renault’s 4CONTROL technology. This four-wheel steering system aims to deliver heightened agility through tight turns and improved cornering stability at higher speeds.
Added to all the driving goodies listed above, you also get an interactive Renault Multimedia System, including a 22cm touchscreen, satellite navigation system with SA maps, Bluetooth, USB and AUX input. You also get, as standard, Apple Car Play and Android Auto support.
Additional standard features include dual-zone climate control, cruise control with speed limiter, Renault hands-free card for entry and engine start, and automatic light and wiper activation.
Worth the bucks?
As mentioned right at the beginning, the new Megane RS Trophy is not cheap. In fact, it’s pushed Renault closer to the R1 million rand mark more than ever before. But, one thing you should consider is that the Trophy won’t be coming in huge volumes, so it’s going to be a rare experience to own one.
Looking at Renault’s past Trophy models, you know it won’t be a bad buy if you enjoy machines that like to be driven hard, but at the end of the day, it’s got some tough competition in the form of the aforementioned Type R, i30N and GTI TCR.
If you’d like a unique, fast hot hatch, this is probably one of the best you can get right now and we can’t wait to put it through its paces later this month.
Be sure to watch this space the full review coming soon.
All Megane RS models, including the new Trophy, come with a five-year/90 000km service plan and a five-year/150 000km mechanical warranty. You also get a six-year anti-corrosion warranty for the body and gizzards. Engine services, incidentally, are pegged at every 10 000km.
THE FAST ONE: GTI STOMPING MEGANE RS TROPHY IS HERE