The Renault Megane 275 Trophy is a Lord of the RingWhen someone dared to take the FWD lap record at the Nürburgring away from Renault, the Frenchmen fought back. The result is the Megane 275 Trophy -- XCAR took it out for a spin to find out more.
[MUSIC] This is a Renault Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy and it exists for two reasons. Number one, Reno's very good at making fast hatchbacks. Number two, a pretender dared steal Reno's crown for being the fastest front drivers around the Nuremberg ring. This displeased Reno greatly, so much so that it dispatched the guys at Reno Sport to tweak them again to 6.5. This car's immediate predecessor. They added ten extra horsepower and those ten make all the difference. Allow me to explain, Renault was, until early 2014, the king of the ring. The two-six-five was plenty quick enough to keep the record for a fair while, however, [UNKNOWN] turned up with its Cooper two-eighty and. Went faster. In 2013, and again 265 trophy set the record in eight minutes, seven seconds, 97. Ten seconds faster than the R-26L mega hatch they shoved around a few years before. The cdr-26r was very impressive, because even though it had 227 horsepower, it was super light weight. Have plastic windows and no rear seats. There are a host of changes you couldn't see but you could certainly feel when you were on it. So the 265 Trophy was a mighty impressive bit of kit but not quite as impressive as the Seat Leon Cupra 280. The Seat took Renault's record and. Think about nine seconds from it. That was an enormous deal to say at the upstart company from Spain keen on enjoyneering and what have you. Taking a record like that from well, the hot hatch kings of Renault. It was big news, big enough that Renault got his guys at Renault sport on to tweaking the 265 as quickly as possible. So they can get the record back. The 275 Trophy, this, was the result. It's got 10 more horses, sits on a cup chassis geared towards people who like driving fast and a lot more besides. There's also a special Akrapovic exhaust that's not only lighter, but makes a noise that [UNKNOWN] people who appreciate noisy cars. Wil enjoy. The torque is the same as a Magin two six five 266 pounds foot. And in bray horsepower, it's got 271 not a 60 take 60 seconds said. And the top speed is 150 58 miles an hour. Now just pop that into your brain space for a second. This is a family car, a shopping car really, and it can nearly top 160 miles an hour. That's just mad. Renault is known for making some really good, some really impressive front-wheel drive hatchbacks. So how did this one compare? Oh surprisingly, it is ballistically fast, not just 62-6 seconds. It might not sound like much. But there's more drama to this. The torque as well. It pulls so keenly, so happening. It pulls, excuse me, up until about three or four thousand r-p-m. Then you get a big swank of turbo. And the car lurches you forward. And it really pushes you back in your seat. It's got an acrophobic exhaust in the back, which is been especially developed. For this car. And it sounds raughty, and shouting, and it pops and it bangs and it fizzles when you lift off. The handling is where it's at. Renner's done a few things. To make sure it doesn't become an under steery, torque steery mess it's got limited slip disk which is great I haven't experienced torque steer in yet at all and then they have under steer control and what that does is it can independently brake pretty much any wheel, so if you do appear to be going in the wrong direction the car will correct itself for you. It's quite similar, in a way, to the system you get on a Mclaren 12C and a 650S, their torque venturing system. You get it on a Jaguar S-type as well. It's very gripping-the grip you wouldn't expect from something like this. You'd expect if you're driving normally. So we'd like to save you a little room. But no [INAUDIBLE] it just takes you. It just does its job. And it does it incredibly well. And it's the whole package. It's mind-blowing impressive. Could you imagine something like this happening five years ago? It used to be several thousand in limits on how much power you can put through the front wheels of a car. The [INAUDIBLE] is proving each time that you can put more, and more, and more through. And the car won't be rubbish. But it doesn't feel like it's an easy car to drive. Even though it's very easy to drive quickly, it feels more engaging. There's more to it. There's more bite to it. There's more character to it. The steering's way. The pedals feel, feels right for the clutch. The gearbox is chunky, and you force it into gear, and it just goes. Everything works seamlessly together. The ride around turn, it's the compromise you make. It's not the most comfortable thing in the world. You feel everything. But this. Isn't a car designed for people who want to take it to [UNKNOWN] this Saturday. It's a car designed for people who want to drive it round a track very, very quickly indeed. There's a flag button and if you press it, that's the RenaultSport mode set up thing. And it shows you [UNKNOWN] a little graph of how much horsepower you're using, how much steering [UNKNOWN] you've put on, how much torque it'll [UNKNOWN]. Up to 62 times. It'll show you all the nerdy information, you want about the car and that's really cool. It's a shame it's hidden, because I'd kinda like that to be the first thing you see and then you have to never have to get away for it to get, get to the nerve. But I. I think it's more a concession for people that actually use these as daily drivers. For a car that wants to drive it as fast as possible, angry as possible, be angry and shouty, it's dynamo, just plenty loud enough. There is. That's the one that transforms it and turns it into the super hatch, mega hatch, hyper hatch that this thing truly is. But there's a problem with make. And it's not actually the drive at all; the drive's great. It's destined to the part. Normally on cars like this, they're in the middle of the center console. But for what ever reason, and I cannot fathom why, Reno put the: make it super shouty and brilliant button, hidden off down here, to the side and it's really awkward to fiddle with it and find it. And you end up having to look down. Very quickly and find where it is. But once you do press it. Come on, see it is a pain. You get a little sign up saying sport mode. In the center console says sport mode engaged and it has a little steering wheel with racing gloves gripping it. And that beautiful akrapovic titanium exhaust starts singing it's song. [NOISE] The 275, it's safe to say, is a jolly good motor. It'll enthrall, delight, and excite. Its raison d'etre to be the fastest is noble, but this car isn't the fastest around The Green Hell. It wasn't the car that broke the record, and because of that, [UNKNOWN] still gets to keep the plaudits. Because the 275 Trophy is actually the sanitized version of the 275 Trophy-R. Now the R comes with less of everything, less sound deadening, no rear seats. Lighter front seat, lighter brakes, no air con, no radio. All those bits in, it's about 100 kilos lighter than this car. Then there's stickier tires and springs and more complicated bits on top of that. That is the car that took four seconds off the [UNKNOWN] record. Not this one. That said the Seat, when it did the ring, wasn't entirely standard. It had a performance pack with stickier rubber. And rumor has it that the air con wasn't fitted. Other than that though it was a standard Leon. It had all the radio and all the normal [UNKNOWN] you can buy in the showroom [UNKNOWN] Does that detract from the McGanys once again the fastest thing on front wheels. No. The fact a drunk driver can hack the ring in less than 8 minutes is frankly astonishing. Does it take the shine off the 275? A little. The loud cooper is a great car. Easy to drive and very quick indeed. But with Reno, you get a touch more. You get the expertise from the chaps at Reno Sport. And, for some, that makes all the difference. Sayat laid down the gauntlet, and Reno stepped up to the plate to reclaim its honor. And it did it, admittedly in a super specialized way but still. Reno is the whole hor hatch king. And long may it reign. [NOISE]