Renault Megane R.S. 275 Trophy-R is the New Hot Hatch to Beat

The hardcore Renault Megane R.S. 275 Trophy-R has just set the bar high by setting a new lap record for front-wheel-drive production cars at the Nürburgring racetrack in Germany. Its time of 7 minutes, 54 seconds breaks the old record of 7 minutes, 58 seconds which was set just a few months ago by the Seat Leon Cupra 280.

The Renault Megane R.S. 275 Trophy-R is a super-hardcore version of the Megane hatchback, as this limited-edition model features numerous performance upgrades over even the already track-oriented Trophy edition. The Trophy-R version puts a priority on light weight, as it loses its rear seats, gains special Recaro polycarbonate racing front seats, and has a lithium-ion battery to save a total of 220 lbs over the Trophy model. Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 275 hp, and the chassis sports a special braking kit, adjustable dampers, and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires that make this hatchback a monster around the circuit. Although this all makes it sound like the Trophy-R is far from street-legal, Renault will be selling the so-called “record-spec” version of the Renault Megane R.S. 275 Trophy-R in limited numbers in France.

Expect to see some competition for this crazy Renault in the future, though, as the front-wheel-drive lap record is always a benchmark for any hot hatch or sport compact with serious performance intentions. Previous record holders include the Chevrolet Cobalt SS Turbocharged, the aforementioned Seat Leon Cupra, and another Renault Megane R.S. Trophy in 2011. Honda has said that it hopes to set a new record with its new turbocharged Honda Civic Type R hatchback that should be revealed sometime in early 2015, with the company aiming for a time far below the eight-minute mark.

Stay tuned to hear more about what’s happening with these hot hatches as the lap battles heat up on the Ring to beat the new FWD king, the Renault Megane R.S. 275 Trophy-R.