Renault Mégane RS 275 Trophy

Competition improves the breed. So goes the old saying, but if there's ever been an example of that axiom put into action, surely it's the new Renault Mégane RS 275 Trophy.

The story of Renaultsport's latest hot hatch starts in 2008, back when the French automaker lapped the Nürburgring in 8:16.9 with its stripped-out Mégane R26.R. That record went pretty much unchallenged until Renault itself raised the bar even further with the new Mégane Trophy in 2011, a car that scored a lap time of 8:07.9. Then the competition started taking note. Honda started talking about beating the record with its upcoming Civic Type R, but Seat is the one that knocked Renault off the top of the leaderboard with its 7:58.4 in the new Leon Cupra 280.

Renault wasn't happy, but set about rising to the challenge when it proclaimed a thinly veiled threat to clock a sub-8-minute lap time of its own, teasing its development thereafter. And this is the vehicle with which it intends to do so.

The new Mégane Trophy improves upon the record-setter from 2011 with more power and more serious equipment. The 2.0-liter turbo four has been massaged to produce an extra ten horses for a total of 275 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. Akrapovič has provided a new titanium exhaust system. Michelin developed a special set of Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Öhlins is providing the adjustable dampers. Renault's even fitted the upgraded Cup chassis and limited-slip differential as standard, and upgraded the aero and interior in the process.

We'll have to wait until June 16 to see how Renault's most extreme hot hatch yet fares on the Nordschleife, but we have a feeling the French wouldn't be talking smack if it didn't think it could rise to the challenge (or indeed already had). In the meantime, you can scope out the details in the press release below and the high-res images in the gallery above.
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NEW MEGANE RENAULTSPORT 275 TROPHY: POWERFUL AND EXCLUSIVE

- New limited edition Megane Renaultsport 275 Trophy unveiled today
- Whole host of technical upgrades, on top of 10hp power hike, plus Akrapovič titanium exhaust system
- High-end options include Öhlins Road & Track dampers and bespoke MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2tyres
- Exclusive looks boosted by Trophy branding on grey F1-style front blade and Trophy decals over the rear wheel arches
- Cup chassis with limited slip differential as standard
- Interior enhancements include leather and Alcantara Recaro seats with red stitching and alloy gear knob
Set to make UK debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014
- To be sold in 20 countries worldwide. UK price and specification details to be confirmed in June, with first deliveries in October

The tradition of exclusive, performance-oriented Renaultsport models continues with the unveiling of a new limited edition Mégane Renaultsport - 275 Trophy.

Following its recent facelift, the top-of-the-range Mégane now benefits from a technical upgrade and a bespoke look. The new 275 Trophy is the latest in a line of limited edition Megane Renaultsports, which began with the 265 Trophy in 2011 and continued with the Red Bull Racing RB8.

Technical upgrades for a Renaultsport thoroughbred with even sharper performance

Widely acclaimed both for its on-road performance, as well as its sublime track handling, the Cup chassis with limited slip differential comes as standard with the Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy.

To allow customers to appreciate the car's dynamic qualities even further, Renaultsport's engineers have worked extensively on its powerplant to extract yet more power, leading to an additional 10 horsepower. The two-litre turbocharged petrol engine consequently boasts 275hp, and peak power is reached at 5,500rpm. At the same time, maximum torque (360Nm) is available across a broad rev-band, from 3,000 to 5,000rpm. Despite this additional power, fuel consumption and emissions have been carefully contained to stand at just 37.7 mpg* and 174g of CO2/km respectively.

Renaultsport and Akrapovič, the manufacturer of benchmark exhaust systems for motorcycles and performance cars, have marked their association with the standard fitment of a titanium exhaust system. In addition to benefiting from the lighter weight of titanium, Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy also features a specific, more raucous bark that is sure to appeal to those who appreciate sporty engine notes.

An equipment package with a circuit racing pedigree

Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy kicks off a partnership with the world-renowned damper manufacturer, Öhlins. The limited edition car can be specified with optional adjustable Öhlins Road & Track dampers with steel springs. This evolution of technology employed in motorsport and on the Mégane N4 rally car, allows drivers to adjust their damper settings easily and unaided.

Also available as an option for Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy for those who enjoy track days are MICHELIN Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. This ultra-high performance solution was developed jointly by Michelin and Renaultsport specifically for this new limited edition front-wheel-drive car.

A limited-edition version that packs exclusive styling, inside and out

The new livery includes Trophy branding on the silver F1-style silver blade, while the personalised body sides feature Trophy decals. Silver has also been selected for the chequered flag graphic at the bottom of the doors. Meanwhile, numbered door sill guards are further evidence of its exclusivity.

Like the new signature engine note, the carbon exhaust tail pipe, too, is the work of Akrapovič. Optional 19-inch black Speedline Turini wheels derived from those used by competition versions of Mégane can also be ordered to complete the racy look.

Inside, Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy comes with leather and Alcantara Recaro bucket seats with red stitching. The same hue of stitching has been carried over to the rear bench seat, while the headrests feature Renaultsport badging. Other interior highlights include visible red stitching for the Alcantara steering wheel trim and handbrake gaiter, as well as an alloy gear lever knob.

The new halo model for the Megane range is set to make its UK debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014 in June. It will be sold in 20 countries worldwide, with UK pricing and specification details to be confirmed in June, with first deliveries in October.

And what if that wasn't all that appealed to them?

#UNDER8... Find out more on 16 June at www.renaultsport.com