A colleague – let’s call him Mark – reads a proof of the Renault Mégane RS Trophy-R review with an intake of breath and a question: “Should a hot hatchback really cost £50,000?”
I see the point. Hot hatchbacks are meant to be sports cars for the masses, cars that bring fun down to a level that those of us with more modest means can enjoy. And enjoy often.
On this I agree. And the Trophy-R is likely to cost £50,000 when pricing is announced, a number that isn’t notably approachable. At the same time, I don’t have quite as much of a problem it, although my eyebrows, too, might have raised when I was first told.
But I’ve since seen the true extent of the changes, I know how long and lovingly the Trophy-R has been developed and, crucially, I know how it makes you feel when you drive it: line up every supercar on sale today and there are quite a lot of them I’d walk past to get into the Renault.
And I suppose the nub of it is that the Trophy-R doesn’t feel cynically priced. I mean it is still hot and it does still have a hatch rear end. But when writing out what its rivals are for the review, I would have felt no less comfortable writing ‘Porsche 911 GT3’ instead of ‘Honda Civic Type R’, despite the Renault’s outright performance being much closer to the Honda’s than the Porsche’s.