Monday, September 7, 2015


The current Megane range from Renault is entering its last months of production and yet, some of the incarnations delivered by Renaultsport will forever be embedded somewhere deep in the back of our conscience.One of them is the record-breaking Megane RS 275 Trophy show that used to be the speediest front-wheel drive display ever to handle the popular Nurburgring. 

That may sound like a little deed to accomplish at initially, in the event that you don't know much about the Green Hell and its lap times in any case, however you have to realize that front-wheel drive autos have developed a considerable amount as of late. 

Be that because of the need of additional space inside a littler bundle that prompted more research in the field or because of different reasons, we can't say precisely. What we can say however is that we're happy that is the situation. 

Previously, FWD models didn't stand a chance against their back wheel drive partners yet that is no more the case with autos like the Seat Leon Cupra 280 or the Honda Civic Type R. 

Lamentably for the French, the Type R is as of now holding the world record with its 310 HP and 7:50.63 lap time. 

Try not to imagine that the autos you get the opportunity to purchase are able to do such accomplishments, however. Indeed, even with the best driver in the driver's seat, regardless you'd require two or three traps to do as such, traps that cost a beautiful penny and can't be purchased. 

On account of the Megane RS 275 Trophy, for instance, you get a few alternatives for your ride yet you won't draw near to the extremeness of the auto that lapped the Nurburgring in 7:54.36. Sufficiently quick for you? All things considered, how about we place things into point of view, should we? 

Envision this: the powerful Ferrari F430 did likewise lap in 7:55 level while the Porsche 911 GT3 (996) was just imperceptibly quicker at 7:54.00 and those two are nothing to laugh at. Taking a gander at considerably later models, we'll locate the 2013 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-model coming in with a 7:55 lap time. How's that for a French FWD auto? Really unfathomable, isn't that so? 

All things considered, the planners without a doubt needed you to realize that the 275 Trophy is not playing around and the made it look like it. Contrasted with the "normal" RS models, the 275 Trophy gets a wide range of identifications all around, shouting that this is no common brute.
The wheel arches are beefier while the side skirts go out to the sides a bit more. Up front, the bumper include daytime running lights made up of LEDs and the Trophy inscription on the lowest lip. There’s a splitter included too that can be removed in case you want to go to the track, helping cool off the brakes.There’s a subtle RS inscription under the huge Renault logo embedded in the front fascia while, round the back, the center of the attention is the single-pipe exhaust tip from Akrapovic. This is one of the tricks Renault used to offer ten extra horsepower compared to what the 250 Cup had on the table.

To be completely honest, everything works together. The wheels hide the massive contrasting-colored brakes behind them, and everywhere we went, the Jaune Sport color of our tester demanded attention from bystanders. Not once we caught people taking photos, and it wasn’t due to the extra loud exhaust either. This is probably the best looking Renault made in the last few years, despite its age.

Inside things change a lot. Everything here is aimed at weighing as little as possible. Maybe that’s why everything feels incredibly cheap. The plastic used throughout has a bad feel, from the door panels to the dash. The instrument cluster is virtually unchanged from a generation ago and features the same comic sans for its lettering and numbers as it was on the second-gen Megane.

What annoyed us the most about the interior was probably the cheap carbon-fiber imitation glued everywhere. If you’re going to build a car that has a decent price bump over its ‘regular’ version maybe you might want to take your time and invest in some proper materials for the interior. After all, that’s where the owner is going to spend most of its time, right?
They were of Recaro origins and provided incredible levels of support while not being too harsh on our backs.
The red subtle elements that went all over and the Alcantara utilized here and there made a conspicuous difference contrasted with whatever remains of the lodge. We additionally adored the red safety belts. A considerable measure. 

One fair specify additionally needs to go to the gearshift handle, made of billet aluminum and also the pedals that were situated extraordinary for heel and toe moves. 

With respect to space, don't anticipate that this auto will be a wizard. There's respectable room in the back for individuals that are not to a great degree tall. Access is simple in the back on account of the leaning back seats in front, and you can go with three mates for shorter spans of time in the event that you need to. 

That being said, you'll presumably be investing energy with your companions inside the auto around town at most, and that makes for an energizing ride. Our analyzer was fitted with the discretionary Ohlins dampers that permit you to bring down the ride stature by up to 10 mm to show signs of improvement execution on the track. 

While the Ohllins stuns will be music to the ears of track-adoring individuals, for day by day driving they are somewhat of a torment in the rear. Truly. The Recaro seats were more agreeable than we expected, yet the suspension of this auto will make you reconsider before going shopping for food in it

It is relentless, and you’ll be feeling the smaller crack in the asphalt on every occasion and at every speed. Tram lines are not your friend, and unless you’re driving on smooth tarmac, you’ll be jumping up and down all the time.

Visibility is good though, and if you’re to leave the car in its most tame driving mode, you won’t have a problem with the clutch in any situation. The thing is, while the 275 Trophy RS feels rather fast in the standard driving mode, you’ll become addicted to the Sport and RS modes as soon as you try them out.

That’s because they change the character of the car by quite a lot. Sport mode is a whole new world compared to the standard setup of the transmission and engine maps. It opens a flap in the exhaust, makes the throttle a lot more sensitive and the steering gets progressively heavier.

Driving around town using it is just madness. Your Megane will start feeling like a mental patient that rocks back and forward of the halls of an institution, waiting to be diagnosed.

The acceleration’s response is so sharp that the car will feel like it’s struggling every time you try to drive slow. Furthermore, the clutch is extremely hard to control considering you now have all the 275 HP at your disposal. It’s even more difficult not to floor it, considering that’s how the Megane feels most comfortable in this driving mode.

That being said, in 6 seconds your license can be suspended as you’ll probably be doing 62 mph (100 km/h) inside a city, something police doesn’t take kindly too. You’ll also be drawing attention to yourself due to the Akrapovic exhaust at the back that will be popping every time you change gear.Should we also mention the fuel consumption? In the most eco-friendly approach possible we couldn’t get the car to sip less than 10.4 l/100 km (22.6 mpg) while in RS mode things go up to 16 l/100 km (14.7 mpg) easily.

Go outside the busy city streets and you can get to use the RS model without stalling the engine. Be careful about others, though, you need to be on your toes because this car is not playing around. Speed gets above the speed limit in no time and you’ll be driving so fast that you need your senses hyped to the maximum limit possible, to make sure you don’t get surprised by the other drivers on the road.

Precision is the word here, and you’ll soon learn that the highway is not the best place to play around with this thing. If you don’t have a track at your disposal, maybe the best way to experience the 275 RS Trophy model is somewhere in some twisty mountain roads.

That’s where you’ll first start noticing some things.There’s something up on the front axle that makes things feel like magic, and we’re referring to the mechanical limited-slip differential, of course, that works wonders in every situation. You can enter corners with plenty of speed, and it will keep you safe with the understeer to a minimum. And we really mean it.

It wasn’t completely obliterated, but we can honestly say that for a front-wheel drive car, understeer has become a thing of the past in this instance. You can basically lean on the front wheels as much as you want, pushing the front end hard into a corner and yet, you’ll come out unscathed as long as you know what you’re doing.

Sport mode reveals a bit of ESC intrusion but it’s never extremely bothering, and it offers that peace of mind that it might save you if you try and go too far. RS mode gives you more freedom and that’s where you start noticing other things about the car.

For example, the Michelin Cup 2 tires that are extremely grippy and will get you out of a corner in a hurry with massive pull, helped by the new ECU map that we were telling you about, bringing 10 extra HP. Apart from this power increase, you also get a different torque curve that has more to offer at the higher end of the rev counter, making this a blast to push to the limit. In RS mode is also when you’ll have another revelation, this time hiding behind the wheels. The Brembo 340mm brakes provided decent stopping power and showed little fade after putting them through their paces time after time. A bit more pedal feel might’ve been welcomed, but we were satisfied nonetheless. 

Another downside is the gearbox that while direct and well geared for the track, has some rather weird gates that might make you mad at times. They are also not as close to each other as you’d expect from such a car but we guess changing the gearbox from the core might’ve been too much work in the first place.

The 2-liter turbocharged engine under the bonnet is a peach and offers plenty of performance for a car as small as this beauty. Compared to the regular RS, the R26.R powerplant was pushed up to 275 HP and 360 Nm (266 lb-ft) of torque. Yes, it’s all due to a turbocharger but you won’t be terribly bothered by the renowned turbo lag.While on the street you can enjoy the two-cars-in-one effect, keeping it in the correct rev range will solve the problem on the track.

Sure, depending on the driving mode you find yourself in, that car vary from noticeable to barely there but even in its most hardcore setting, there’s still some noticeable delay in response. It’s not something you can’t live with though, and the sound the mill makes when spooling up is intoxicating.

Nevertheless, the handling remains the key here. This is a chassis at the peak of its development, and you can feel it. Certain voices have criticised the agitated steering, but this works extremely well with the balanced chassis.

This car is a riot when it comes to going sideways. Bringing the rear end in line when lifting off the gas in corners is just the beginning. You can easily slide the machine using a limited space (road width) that shouldn’t allow this.

We won’t go ahead and talk about drifting in a FWD car, but this Renault takes you as close to the notion as possible.Interestingly enough, the Megane RS 275 Trophy reminds us of the Nissan GT-R. Both cars handle like ballerinas on LSD (no, not the differential) and both split opinions like nothing else.

Just like in the GT-R, you can slide the Megane RS 275 Trophy to ridiculous angles and come back in complete safety, provided you know your performance driving. Cars like these are the kind that turn underdogs into what we like to call ‘Ring Wolves. Every major racetrack in the world has them. 

We are talking about guys who can’t afford to go for more expensive go-fast machines, but connect deeply with their hot hatches. For instance, these people will easily hunt down a Ferrari 458 Speciale with an untrained driver.

In terms of gadgetry, we can’t say we were impressed, though. Inside the cabin, things are rather Spartan, as you’d expect from a track-focused, limited-run edition car. What does impress you is the array of monitors that can prove to be rather useful on the track.

The R-Link system is rather easy to use and going through all the parameters that car can show off with. You can see the power output, torque levels, grip, G-Forces recorded, the oil temp, coolant temperature, the amount of boost the turbos use and even time your 0-62 runs if you will. 

You can forget about such luxuries such as a banging sound system (as that would’ve added a lot of weight to the total) or other such features. We did appreciate the Bluetooth connectivity for our phones, a feature that will come in handy especially considering you’ll need both hands on the wheel to control this monster. And while the rear-view camera is a nice tool to have, expect a low resolution.

And yet you never feel unsafe in this car. Sure, the NCAP gave the standard Megane hatch a score of just four stars but the RS versions take things a bit further in terms of safety. You get better brakes, better suspension, a sharper tool that will get you out of sticky situations if handled properly. 

The ESC works flawlessly and only if you turn it completely off you might be in danger but then, to reach that certain situation, you have to admit guilt to some degree.

Costs for the Megane RS 275 Trophy begin at €32,400 which speaks the truth €1,000 not exactly the Seat Leon Cupra ST 280 and €1,600 not exactly the new Honda Civic Type R. Nonetheless, we can't generally see individuals cross purchasing these three choices. In the event that you like German autos you'll presumably go for the Golf R or the SEAT, in case you're into JDM, the Type R will be your just decision while the Megane will speak to an alternate demographic out and out. 

Amid our time with the Megane RS 275 Trophy, we really wanted to contrast it not with its adversaries but rather more to different offerings the Renault Sport division has for you. We're alluding to the Clio RS, obviously, and to how distinctive the two are. As one of my companions said, the Megane is to a greater extent a Pitbull while the Clio is Bull Terrier. 

The littler auto is unsettled and circles insane at whatever point you don't pay consideration on it. It's that one model in the parking garage that will be doing flybys for the whole evening to stand out enough to be noticed. 

Then again, the Megane RS 275 Trophy is a more grave and savage recommendation. It doesn't bark, and it doesn't squirm its tail that much however when the chips are down, you need it close by as it can nibble your hand off and never give up. Just listening to it snarl will get your hairs up and the adrenaline streaming and that is the best thing that can be said in regards to an auto, be that front-wheel drive or not.

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