The vast majority of the revisions are designed to make the Renault keener, quicker and more engaging. As you’d expect, given Renaultsport’s expertise, those aims have been met.
What the Renault really majors on is communication and control. Despite electronically assisted steering a torrent of information is relayed to you via the comfortable Alcantara-trimmed wheel.
The throttle is also responsive and easily modulated, the clutch action painless to judge, and the brakes capable of bleeding off speed quickly and controllably.
Coupled with immense front-end grip, plenty of traction and superb body control, the resulting experience when driven at speed is utterly intoxicating.
You’re not left wanting for more power either; the turbocharged engine revs cleanly to 6800RPM in the first two gears and continues to pull hard in the higher ratios. The Trophy’s no faster to 62mph than the Renaultsport but it does feel fractionally more eager beyond 5000rpm.
The Akrapovič exhaust suitably adds to the theatre, additionally producing grin-inducing pop and bangs. In conjunction with the stiffer suspension, LSD and distinctive cosmetic changes, the resulting feel is of a notably more evocative car than the normal Renaultsport.
What further impresses is the accessibility of it all. You need not to have myriad motorsports qualifications to relish a drive in the Mégane; it’s secure, confidence inspiring and – like the smaller Fiesta ST – characterful even at slower speeds.
The Renault does admirably elsewhere. It feels mechanically durable and it’s easy to drive in a conventional fashion; you get plenty of kit, including dual-zone climate and sat-nav, usable rear seats and an adequately sized boot.
A four-year, 100,000-mile warranty adds confidence and the company’s even had the foresight to retain the option of a spare wheel for £95. So, no tearing a tyre off the rim following an optimistic corner entry and immediately being immobilised.
Those seeking a more hardcore experience can even opt for adjustable dampers and track-focused tyres; a lighter Trophy-R variant is also offered – which does away with the likes of air-con in the name of performance.