What is it?
The Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy isn’t a performance hatch for pretenders.
Renault might not sum the most hardcore version of its Megane up quite so bluntly, but read between the lines and you get the sense that it probably thinks so too. “The Trophy is a track day car you could live with everyday,” we were told. “The regular Megane RS, on the other hand, is an everyday car that’s also incredibly sporty.” It’s a nuanced way of summarising a car, for sure, but you catch their drift.
Anyway, having driven the Megane RS 300 Trophy out in Portugal late last year, it’s finally arrived here in Britain. You might have read Matt Prior’s report already (if you haven’t, you’ll find it here), but as a quick refresh let’s run quickly through what makes a Megane RS 300 Trophy, well, a Megane RS 300 Trophy.
First up, the £31,835 hot hatch gains Renault Sport’s Cup chassis as standard. So the dampers have been stiffened by 25%, the springs have been stiffened by 30%, and the anti-roll bars - you guessed it - have also been stiffened by 10%. It also introduces a Torsen limited-slip differential, and red brake calipers.
On the subject of brakes, the bi-material discs that are optional on Cup chassis-equipped versions of the standard Megane RS are standard on the Trophy. These save 1.8kg at each corner, reducing unsprung mass. That’s a good thing. A lightweight battery further reduces weight; compared to the standard Megane RS, manual versions of the Trophy are 18kg lighter.
There’s also a new freer-breathing exhaust with a trick valve for making more or less noise, while a ceramic ball bearing system adopted by the turbocharger improves response. These tweaks come alongside a 20bhp power hike - now at 296bhp - while torque also rises to 295lb ft.
Alcantara-upholstered Recaro seats, and Bridgestone Potenza 007 tyres are optionally available. Our car had the former, but not the latter.