Until very recently, introducing a Dieppe-fettled Renault was like announcing a Beatles album in the late 1960s: you just knew that whatever they’d done, it was almost certainly going to be brilliant.

Consequently, the last Renaultsport model that we tested, the Clio 200 Turbo, was a jolt; unwanted proof that the firm’s genius-grade engineers could knock out tepid acceptability if they were made to work with one hand tied behind their back.

This time round, there is no excuse. Limited to a run of just 30 examples in the UK, the Trophy-R is an example of what Renault is prepared to do to a hot hatchback in order to eke out extra performance. Much has been removed in that engineering pilgrimage, and most of what has been added is intended to hone an already razor-sharp chassis. 

We already know that the Trophy-R is the quickest front-wheel-drive production car ever to lap the Nürburgring. But has its new go-faster guise taken it beyond the already thoroughly brilliant 275 Trophy in the driver reward stakes? Strap yourself in for the answer.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Top 5 Mega hatches

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2017 Range Rover Velar
    First Drive
    23 July 2017
    The Range Rover Velar is the most road-biased car Land Rover has made. So does it still feel like a proper part of the family?
  • Seat Ibiza
    Car review
    21 July 2017
    A model upon which Seat has staked its future, the new Ibiza must now deliver
  • Honda Clarity FCV
    Car review
    21 July 2017
    Honda’s fuel cell flagship reaches its second generation, but is the world ready?
  • Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi 110 N-Connecta 2017 review
    First Drive
    20 July 2017
    A UK drive in Nissan’s crucial crossover shows an update has not cost it any of that which makes it sell so well
  • Seat Ibiza 1.0 MPI
    First Drive
    20 July 2017
    The Seat Ibiza has wowed in other iterations, but how will the entry-level 1.0-litre MPI version stack up in the UK? We've been to north Wales to find out