Renault Megane R.S Trophy-R Sets New FWD Record Set At The Suzuka Circuit

By Peter Nelson

November 30, 2019

Photos and info via press.renault.co.uk

 

While we might not often witness the fruits of major manufacturers’ hot-hatch-development labor here in the US, there’s good news for the rest of the world market: the Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy-R has set a new FWD record of 2:25.454 at Japan’s famous Suzuka Circuit. This is more than 3 seconds faster than the previous record, and follows Renault’s success earlier this year breaking the FWD record at both Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps. It’s certainly music to enthusiasts’ ears in Japan; around 10,000 die-hard Renault Sport fans are concentrated in the small island nation, according to Renault. This isn’t a rough estimate, either, their proof lies in production numbers: as of September of this year, Japan was Renault Sport's leading world market for the R.S. range, ahead of Germany and France, and the third for the Mégane R.S.

 

  • In anticipation of Trophy-R’s potential popularity with Japanese fans, development tests were carried out at the beginning of the year on the Suzuka circuit to meet the specific expectations of local customers; this was more than just your average dog and pony show.
  • The Trophy-R is the latest version of a story that began 15 years ago. Like its illustrious predecessors, the Trophy-R sets new circuit records in the front-wheel drive performance car category, continuing Renault Sport's passion for challenge and performance. The new Mégane R.S. Trophy-R is the most focused performance car ever built by Renault.
  • Compared to the R.S. Trophy, the Trophy-R, equipped with the same 300 hp engine, owes its faster pace to weight reduction (it’s around 285 lbs. lighter), aerodynamic improvements, and bespoke, refined suspension and chassis enhancements.
  • The Mégane R.S. Trophy-R is particularly popular in Japan: more than 50 Trophy-Rs, including some equipped with the high-end Carbon-Ceramic Pack, have already been reserved by Renault Japan.

 

Patrice Ratti, Renault Sport Cars General Manager:

“The new Mégane R.S. Trophy-R has set a new record in its category, this time at Suzuka, the leading circuit in Japan. This performance is particularly meaningful for the 10,000 strong local community of Renault Sport and Trophy-R fans. It demonstrates the effectiveness of the specific testing campaign we conducted on site to best meet their expectations. This is enough to further strengthen the relationship with our very international customer base”

 

 

The Mégane R.S. Trophy-R owes its performance to its pure character. Developed as a racing car, the dedicated team focused on three aspects: weight reduction, improved aerodynamics and chassis development.

 

Following the records set at the Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps, Laurent Hurgon, driving the Trophy-R, has set an official record time (2:25.454) for a performance car on the 3.6 mile-long Suzuka circuit, which has an astonishing and most-likely-fun-as-heck 18 turns.

 

The Mégane R.S. has been setting and breaking records for more than ten years. In 2008, it set the very first record in the front-wheel-drive performance car category on the Nürburgring circuit, completing the lap in 8:17. Laurent Hurgon has previously broken multiple records on both the Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps driving different generations of the Mégane R.S. Beating the record at the Suzuka circuit is another solid achievement, for both him and the Trophy-R. We tip our berets to him!

 

Let’s hope we see a revival in the love of hot hatchbacks in the US. It’d be great to see the Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy-R out there competing with the Civic Type R, Veloster N, and some potentially great options from Peugeot in the coming years on America's many awesome tracks.