What is it?
Is this soon? It feels soon. The Renault Mégane RS only arrived in the summer and yet here, already, is the Trophy version: generally the go-to variant of RS models for those who like their hot hatches flaming. And the truth is it would have come earlier still but for the backlog of models waiting to go through WLTP testing.
New to the Renault Mégane RS Trophy is more power, while you get stuff – some of which you can add as an option on the regular RS, and some of which you can’t.
Output from the 1.8 turbo petrol is 296bhp, up 20bhp over the regular RS, and if you spec the dual-clutch gearbox, torque is up from 288lb ft to to 310lb ft. Spec the standard six-speed manual and torque is limited to 295lb ft because that’s all the ’box can handle, so that’s how the engine is mapped.
Throttle response is said to be quicker either way on this 296bhp unit, though, owing to the adoption of a ceramic turbo bearing, while there’s a freer breathing exhaust, which has an active flap in it, which Renault says offers ‘two tones’. Is that madness or special? Anyway, with it shut it’s ‘easy on the ears’ and with it open ‘the full sporty potential can be expressed’. So basically quiet or loud.
There are 19in wheels whose design is inspired by the RS01 concept car (very cool too) shod with Bridgestone Potenza 001 tyres, and the upcoming option of 007s, as soon as they’re homologated, which are better for dry use and on a circuit. You can spec a lighter wheel rim too, which to me looks less cool but it does save 2kg a corner. All of this stuff is Trophy-specific.
Then you get the Cup chassis as standard, which is available as an option on the regular RS too (and was fitted to the only other RS I’ve driven). That brings a series of nice round numbers – 25% stiffer dampers, 30% stiffer springs and 10% stiffer anti-roll bars – as well as a Torsen limited-slip differential and bi-material front brake discs, which are 1.8kg a corner lighter than the regular RS’s.
To denote a Trophy there’s a bit of badging on the outside, but it’s a pretty subtle transformation. Inside, meanwhile, there’s the option of a new seat – an Alcantara-shod Recaro that sits you 20mm lower than normal.