2011 Renault Megane Renaultsport 265 Trophy – Click above for high-res image gallery

Last week, we showed you the 2011 Renault Megane Renaultsport 265 Trophy, the latest you-can't-have-it hot hatch from the French automaker. As much as it pains us that the 265-horsepower front-driver isn't coming here, it's still nice to lust from afar.

This week, the car got even more lustworthy, setting the Nürburgring lap record for front-wheel-drive production cars at eight minutes, eight seconds. That time bests the Renault Megane R26's 2008 'Ring record by 9 seconds, and cements Renault as the hot-hatch maker to beat. For you across the pond folks, now is the time to try and get your hands on a 265 Trophy, as Renault is making precious few of the little beasts. Click past the jump to check out Renault's full press release.
Show full PR text
A time of 8 minutes 08 seconds has seen the new limited edition Mégane Renaultsport 265 Trophy set a new benchmark time for a production-specification front-wheel drive car at the Nürburgring's infamous Nordschleife circuit. This performance beats the attempts of several far more powerful, rear-wheel drive cars
Renault Sport – Renault's performance division – illustrates its passion and expertise yet again. Today's achievement provides further evidence of the technological excellence that goes into the design of Renault models and of how motorsport-proven technical solutions are carried over to its production cars

A feat that has 'shortened' the Nordschleife...
Renault Sport established its first lap record for a front-wheel drive production car at the Nordschleife on 23 June 2008. The time of 8 minutes 17 seconds posted that day by the Mégane Renaultsport R26.R demonstrated that a showroom-specification front-wheel drive car could beat high-performance models from some elite specialist brands and tuners. Today, it was the turn of Mégane Renaultsport 265 Trophy to beat the time by a full 9 seconds, a lap record that has stood for three years.

Today's impressive lap time is the result of the newcomer's extra 15hp, at 265hp, along with careful set-up work and an optimised tyre choice by Renault Sport engineers.

The latest achievement speaks volumes for Renault's ability to incorporate its motorsport expertise and experience – including Formula 1 – into its production cars. Indeed, Mégane Renaultsport 265 Trophy has benefited directly from all the areas in which Renault Sport excels, from design quality and exacting reliability, to painstakingly tuned engines, chassis and brakes.

Supercar performance... for a much wider audience of enthusiasts
The time posted at the Nürburgring puts Mégane Renaultsport 265 Trophy on a par with an extremely prestigious list of supercars, giving a level of performance which rivals that of exclusive cars with power outputs of up to and beyond 500hp.

Laurent Hurgon (development driver, Renault Sport):
"The Nordschleife is a legendary course. Its length and layout, which is very different to that of a conventional circuit, make it a unique and technically demanding challenge. Its difficulties are extremely varied, ranging from fast and even very fast in places to much twistier and slower portions. Turns like 'Karusell' and 'Pflanzgarten', for example, make huge demands of the car and driver alike, yet Mégane Renaultsport Trophy is very much in its element here and feels particularly reassuring despite the uncompromising nature of the terrain. The limited slip differential allowed me to accelerate hard out of the countless turns without understeer. The carefully-tuned Cup chassis, the dampers, the fade-resistant brakes, the Recaro seats, the power of the 265hp engine, the ready availability of torque between 2,500 and 5,000rpm and the car's Bridgestone RE 050A (235/35 R19) tyres allowed me to make the most of the car's enormous potential, especially into and out of the corners. It is this package which enabled me to post such a quick time round this circuit which you must always approach with a certain degree of humility."

MÉGANE RENAULTSPORT AND MOTORSPORT

Mégane is very active in both rallying and circuit racing. Designed for rallying, Mégane Renaultsport N4 stands out immediately through its looks. Widely acclaimed for the quality of its chassis and engine, it is an ideal choice for privateer teams and drivers. Developed for tarmac competition, the N4 is emerging as a new benchmark on sealed-surface events.

On track, Mégane Trophy V6 takes the lines of the production version a step further to combine carefully-honed aerodynamics and a remarkably elegant stance. It sets new standards in the world of 'high performance' racing saloons. Designed and engineered solely for motorsport, this prototype delivers 360hp while tipping the scales at 980kg. It has become emblematic of the World Series by Renault and delivers unrivalled performance/driving pleasure package for its price and class.

More information on the Mégane Renaultsport range is available at www.renaultsport.co.uk, with the latest Renault news on Renault TV on Sky Guide 883 and Freesat 651, or by following on twitter @renault_uk.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 36 Comments
      lne937s
      • 3 Years Ago
      If you follow the RenaultSport pattern, usually they come out with a striped out ultimate edition at the end of the models lifecycle. The current Megane has a few more years before it is to be replaced, so something faster should be comming. BTW, although Renault/Nissan tend to be conservative with their horsepower ratings, this FWD torsion beam rear suspension car beats a lot of RWD and AWD cars with higher rated horsepower with names like Lotus, Ferrari, BMW M, Mercedes AMG, Audi, Porsche.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N%C3%BCrburgring_lap_times http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N%C3%BCrburgring_lap_times
      brickkyard
      • 3 Years Ago
      This would one case of badge engineering I would absolutely love. If only it was as simple as slapping a Nissan emblem on the hood and shipping it over here :/
        ccae92
        • 3 Years Ago
        @brickkyard
        The upcoming entry-level Infiniti hatch is likely going to be based on the Megane so you'll sort of have your wish.
      Justin Campanale
      • 3 Years Ago
      Okay, to all of you people from the Sonic article who told me to change my screen name to avoid confusion with the other Justin who comments occasionally around here, I've gone and done so. Happy now? Okay, back on topic. Nice job Renault! I got a chance to drive a Renaultsport Megane in France. That car simply blew me away. Makes the GTI and Mazdaspeed3 look boring in comparison.
      Italiaspeed
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice, only if Renault came across the pond, then again Nissan could build something like this.. if only.. ah heck Nissan needs to build a cheap RWD car, something to compete with the FT-86.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        mathiaswegner
        • 3 Years Ago
        How would they get such a good lap time if not with straight line speed, driving dynamics, and handling? it's not like the Megane was using magic fairy dust to achieve the time.
      Shiftright
      • 3 Years Ago
      So it beats a RWD BMW 1M Coupe...Nice...There you go FWD naysayers...
        m5nm3
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Shiftright
        It beat the audi and porsche too. If you're going to hate on bmw for having a slower ring time then mention all the recent production cars to run it. I'm still going to be enjoying my bmw. BMW M6 E63, Honda NSX-R, Porsche Boxster S, Chrysler Viper GTS, BMW Alpina B6 S Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, BMW Z4 M Coupe, BMW M5 E60, Ferrari 355 GTB, Mercedes-Benz_C63 AMG, BMW Alpina B3 Biturbo Coupé, Porsche Cayman S, Lexus IS-F , 2010 Camaro SS, Nissan Skyline GT-R R32, BMW M3 E46, Lotus Exige S, Audi RS4, Audi S5, BMW 335i E92 Coupe, Nissan 350Z, Audi TTS Coupé Oh look the renault beat all these cars on the ring. they must all be crappy cars. Oh well, I'm going to go enjoy my slow M5 now. =(
        from401
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Shiftright
        Dude get real. The BMW is a luxury car...and thus heavier...doesn't this thing have a plastic rear window and no radio? I mean seriously, would you drive a car with a plastic window, a super stiff suspension, and no sound deadening just because it has a good ring time?
          lne937s
          • 3 Years Ago
          @from401
          This car has a full interior, steel body panels, sound deadening, and glass windows... but if history is any indicator, a faster car will plastic windows, a stripped out interior, carbon fiber, etc. will come in the next couple of years before they redesign the Megane.
      Dani
      • 3 Years Ago
      best hot hatch out, even when compared to the s3, rs3... looks better too.
      from401
      • 3 Years Ago
      Impressive...but can't convince myself to want a FWD car
        from401
        • 3 Years Ago
        @from401
        Hahaha yea I knew you guys would thumbs down me into oblivion on that one
      cypherxx666xx
      • 3 Years Ago
      factory times can never be really trusted, here are some independent times with the same driver: http://www.sportauto-online.de/rundenzeiten-nuerburgring-3649995.html?p=6&sort=ZeitNS&order=ASC Focus RS: 8:26
        rocketmoose
        • 3 Years Ago
        @cypherxx666xx
        Why not? It's not like Renault performs the timing. That's automated.
        cypherxx666xx
        • 3 Years Ago
        @cypherxx666xx
        cause u` ll never know how they really prepared the car. car makers would do anything to achieve a new record, it´s the best promotion u can do. that includes all manufactures who post record times on the Ring, not only Renault.
      Georg
      • 3 Years Ago
      don´t want to claim Renault liars but the laptime sounds strange... just to compare... Reader Motorsport a very very successfull race team and tuning company running the VLN northloop championship with several different cars in different classes (they have build the TT-RS endurance racer for Audi, they have raced the Ford GT and the Lamborghini Gallardo at the VLN) did a 7:59min with a Focus RS... driven by a well experienced VLN race driver (finished 2009 24h 2. place SP3T class as best driver behind the VW factory Scirocco race team) and Renault trys to tell us a stock Megane on normal "small" 235/35 Potenza RE050 can do 8:08 driven by development test driver? to reach the 7:59min time Reader Motorsport added to the Focus RS.. + fully adjustable KW Clubsport race suspension + wide 9.5x18 superlightweight wheels + Dunlop Direzza semi slicks in 265/35 +large 370mm mov´it high perfromance fix mounted 4piston each caliper race brake +light Recar Pole Position bucket seats +carbon body parts +weld in roll cage +6point seatbells on stock engine transmission http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQi0y6pPR_M&feature=player_embedded the 7:59min lap btw Reader Motorsport currently owns the northloop record for FWD with 7:30min (Audi A3)... they realy know what they do... driven by a other highly experienced VLN race driver (raced last year the Porsche 997 GT3 RS as a replacment driver for Rally legend Walter Roehrl who was ill putitng it on 13th place overall after 24h) the stock Focus RS was quicker then the Megane RS MkIII at the LUK driving center testtrack
        Franz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Georg
        Great, faster than Megane for 3 tenths at LUK center... But I can also play this little game: the stock Megane 3 RS was quicker than the Focus RS at Hockenheim (Focus RS equalizes Megane's time only with the R888 help), Contidrom, Magny-Cours, Autozeitung track, Inta etc...in direct confrontation with the same driver and the same day! I don't claim that one is better or vice versa, but it's so easy to cast doubt with no evidence. During the Ring lap record, there was several journalists/witness and some like EVO were able to drive this same Megane RS Trophy. About Renault test driver Laurent Hurgon great drive, like the video proves he knows extremely well the car (and track). Where is the problem? That's remember Ford tried to beat R26R Ring lap time with Saurma's help but even the R888 they failed. Perhaps with an another driver...
      Reece Lightning
      • 3 Years Ago
      i reckon the focus RS-500 would beat it
      onewayroll
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wasn't the Cobalt SS the fastest at one time?
        lne937s
        • 3 Years Ago
        @onewayroll
        It was fastest in FWD for a couple of months at 8:22.9, before the 230hp Megane R26R took it at 8:16.9. The R26R had the record for FWD vehicles until this new Megane took it away.
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