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.
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.