The Trophy-R is a car that, by design, was unlikely to justify its price tag on straight-line pace alone. The car’s outright accelerative potency is enough to compare healthily with the very quickest front-drivers on the market, but it stops some way short of blowing them into the weeds in the way you might expect for the money. Meanwhile, one or two qualitative issues ensure that, though you may be a long way from disappointed by it, you’ll be no more blown away by the way this engine goes about its business than by what it actually does.
On a dry day at the track, our test car’s fastest 0-60mph standing start dipped just below 5.5sec, with a final two-way average of 5.6sec. That’s a tenth quicker than the current, all-conquering Honda Civic Type R managed in 2017, and quicker still than the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S the year before that. But it’s hardly seminal, landmark stuff.
The engine’s static rev limiter restricts how much torque can be put through the clutch from rest, while Renault’s electronic launch control worked only very sporadically on our test car – and didn’t yield spectacular results when it did. On warmed tyres, with one occupant less in the car and assuming it could be persuaded to give the driver complete dominion over throttle and clutch control, though, this does feel like a car that could go pretty close to breaching the five-second front-driven barrier.