Go racing in the Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy

The Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy is SA’s most exclusive hot hatch

Reuben Van Niekerk
Renault Megane
Renault Sport
hot hatch

The Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy is the ultimate Megane. It is what happens when Renault Sport designers are given free reign to build what is, in their opinion, the conclusive hot hatch.

 

Throughout the generations, Trophy versions of this hot hatch have become renowned for their thoroughbred efficiency in combining performance and accuracy and the newest Megane RS Trophy certainly lives up to this legacy.

 

What makes it special?

Aside from its undeniably good looks, the Trophy offers a multitude of enhanced Renault Sport features. On the exterior, the RS 300 Trophy boasts exclusive side panel Trophy insignia, a distinctive sport front bumper with F1 blade, a specific rear diffuser, an intelligent central exhaust pipe and unique Jerez triple tone 19-inch wheels, that give the Trophy an imposing stance.

 

Stepping into the cabin, one is greeted with a definite nod to the motorsport world. Signature Recaro seats, finished in alcantara, with racy red top-stitching provide comfort and added support for spirited driving and have allowed the driving position to be lowered by 20mm.

 

An alcantara steering wheel, a zamac aluminium gear knob and handbrake gaiter adds to the driver centric experience.

 

The RS Monitor and Race Mode, ensure an augmented driving experience. The RS on-board tracking system keeps the driver informed of engine performance and features Race Telemetry to monitor track timing statistics.

 

The Renault multimedia system includes an 8.7-inch touchscreen, satellite navigation with maps for South Africa, Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary input as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto but the touchscreen system was a tad tricky to operate.

 

Power to the people

Under the bonnet is an uprated, more powerful, version of the 1.8 litre turbo engine, with power increased to 221kW thanks to upgrades to the ceramic ball bearing turbo and intelligent exhaust with dual sound valve system.

 

This engine is mated to either a six-speed manual transmission with an output of 400Nm or a six-speed dual-clutch EDC gearbox boasting 420Nm.

 

Driving dynamics

I tested the manual version and found that it struggles to find traction when launched, no matter which mode the traction control has been set to, but in gear acceleration is brisk and it is here and around a circuit that this hatch shines.

 

Track driving ability is further bolstered by the four-wheel steering system, 4Control, which ensures added agility through tight turns and impressive cornering ability at higher speeds.

 

Being based on the Cup chassis, the Trophy is also fitted with stiffer suspension, including a Torsen mechanical limited slip differential, enabling better cornering and traction, for a more thrilling drive.

 

Bi-material brakes, including 350mm discs upfront clamped by red Brembo callipers not only add to the overall aesthetics but also allow for guaranteed optimum braking performance.

 

Summary

The iconic Megane RS 300 Trophy represents the more focussed version of the Megane RS hot-hatch family, built for extreme performance and amplified driving pleasure.

 

The hot hatch segment is a tightly contested one and over the years it has diversified into two sections. You get those contenders that offer great performance in a package that can also be used on a daily basis such as Volkswagens Golf GTI. Then you get contenders, like the Megane RS Trophy, that are so focussed in their intention that they can be hard work to drive everyday, but they do appeal to enthusiasts looking for a pure driving experience and this vehicle certainly delivers in that department.

 

The Megane RS300 Trophy is ultimate Renault Sport, with limited units available worldwide and only seven units available to South Africa, making it a very exclusive vehicle to own.

 

Pricing

Megane RS 300 Trophy manual       R774 900

Megane RS 300 Trophy EDC            R799  900