The car’s uprated four-cylinder is now also more responsive and eager to rev owing to the use of new turbocharger hardware that’s inspired by Renault Sport’s Formula 1 engine. The turbo’s turbine, which rotates at almost 200,000rpm, is now mounted on a ceramic ball bearing, saving weight and reducing friction by a third. This responsiveness is maximised when the new exhaust system bypasses a silencer with a mechanical valve.
Renault Sport said the extra urgency of the powertrain essentially offsets a loss in power caused by increased backpressure, which has come thanks to the fitment of a new particulate filter, encouraged by the upcoming introduction of the WLTP. The powertrain therefore complies with the latest Euro 6d-Temp regulations.
Like in the normal RS Mégane, drive is sent to the front wheels via a choice of two gearboxes: an EDC automatic or six-speed manual. The former enables the maximum torque mentioned earlier, but the latter requires a reduction in peak torque to bring it down to 295lb ft – still a 7lb ft improvement over the standard RS.
The EDC ’box enables the slightly higher output because it can work with “specific mapping”, Renault Sport said. That advantage, as well as the quicker shifting times, will likely give an EDC-equipped Trophy the better straight-line performance, although at this stage only a 0-62mph time for the manual is provided. It hits the mark in 5.7sec, a tenth quicker than the normal manual RS.
To enhance the front-driven Trophy’s traction and agility, it comes as standard with the otherwise optional Cup pack. This brings a Torsen mechanical limited-slip differential and stiffer suspension, which uses 25% firmer shock absorbers, 30% firmer springs and 10% stiffer anti-roll bars.
The fitment of aluminium hubs, which, along with new 19in Jerez alloy wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza S001 tyres, help to lower unsprung mass to improve steering feel and suspension performance, further boosts this track-ready set-up. As does the addition of bi-material front brake discs of 355mm in diameter.