It’s nice to drive comfortable cruisers as well as fast and sporty cars. Then there are cars that don’t really fall into either of those categories. These I call ‘raw cars’. Basically, lightweight, stripped out, bare minimum and purely focussed on one thing and that’s going around a corner as fast it possibly can.
Now that the Renault Megane RS Trophy has been revised, the power is up by 6kw (from 195kw to 201Kw, or 275hp as they claim) and it’s better than ever. A few exterior changes, from LED day light running lamps, halogen headlights and a rather large Trophy logo on the front lower bumper, 19” Trophy alloys in gloss black with Trophy striping on the rear quarter panels. There is no mistaking this Megane as she means business.
The interior, which has been changed, now features a suede-wrapped steering wheel with a brushed aluminium gear-nob and pedals. The racing Recaro seats have been wrapped in Alacantara and on 1st glance, they do look amazing. The lateral support is very good, especially if you are of a bigger frame. The red belts continue the red pinstripe theme which flows throughout the car.
While there is a relatively good multimedia system, featuring Tom Tom navigation, Bluetooth telephony and USB, you might as well forget about it and just switch on the RS Monitor, which displays all the crucial information about what the car is doing and when it’s doing it. You can monitor things like brake pressure, ambient air intake temps, boost pressure, oil temps and even performance figures like 0-60kph, 0-100kph and quarter mile times. Load some pre-programmed tracks via Memory card and it will double up as a lap timer, too.
When you drive the Trophy, a few things come to mind; it has a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde personality. Leave the car in normal mode and throttle response seems slow and power is very linear. Press the RS button once, engage sport mode and the car comes alive. Boost pressure is slightly raised to about 1.25 bar (at the coast) with a much sharper response. The exhaust note gets louder (which is thanks to an Akrapovic Titanium exhaust) and it loves to pop, bang and crackle on gear changes and on the over run, simply put, its music to my ears.
Toss any high power front wheel drive car into a turn and the first thing you would expect it to do is to under steer. This is completely minimised with Renaults CSV under steer control (which will brake the wheel that’s the culprit and it’s very similar to torque vectoring found on other cars). If you combine that with super sticky tires and a limited slip differential, you have a recipe to embarrass a lot of expensive cars at your next track day.
Turbocharged four cylinders have never really been known for fuel economy and I’m not going to beat around the bush. Our average consumption was 9.3l/100km with a best recorded of 7.7l/100km. Our worst after, an enthusiastic drive, was 14.4l/100km. These were usually each done over a 150km or more. It’s hard not to want to drive the Megane fast. It inspires confidence so quickly and this is also why Renault has an advanced driver training programme to all Trophy’s sold.
On the safety side, You have 6 airbags including front self –adaptive driver and passenger airbags, ABS with brake assist, stability control, anti-slip control, rear Isofix anchors for kiddies (yes there is space) and tyre pressure monitors, which incidentally actually came in handy at one point.
The Megane RS Trophy comes standard with a 5 year / 150 000km mechanical warranty and a 5 year / 90 000km service plan. Service intervals are every 10 000km.
For more info Renault.co.za