Just as was the case with its predecessor, the third-generation Trophy-R offers no gain in engine power or torque output compared with the regular Trophy model that sits immediately below it in the current hot Mégane hierarchy.
Renault Sport’s 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder motor (which also appears in the Alpine A110) has been carried over unchanged, and develops the same 296bhp and 295lb ft. The reason for this is simply that the six-speed manual gearbox that marshals this poke to the front wheels, in conjunction with a Torsen limited-slip differential, is already at the limit for how much torque it can handle.
Renault’s dual-clutch automatic can, and does, take more (310lb ft in the standard Trophy), but the Trophy-R is only available with a manual ’box. A stick-shift set-up is lighter, though; and it’s the strict – not to mention extensive – weight-saving focus of this car that is a key aspect of what makes the Trophy-R special. The rear seats have been stripped out (-25.3kg); a lightweight Akrapovic titanium exhaust has been fitted (-7kg); there’s a new carbon-composite bonnet and carbonfibre rear diffuser (-8kg and -2.3kg respectively); thinner rear glass has been installed (-1kg); and there’s now no rear wiper either (-3kg).