So just how much faster was the Trophy-R compared to the Civic Type R? It's a bit complicated.
By: Evan Williams
May 22, 2019
Move over, Honda Civic Type R. There’s a new hot hatch in town, and it’s here to eat your lunch at the Nurburgring. But it won’t eat your lunch here in Canada; this one’s not coming to our roads.
The record holder for front-wheel drive cars on Germany’s famed Nurburgring has, since 2017, been Honda’s Civic Type R. The bewinged monster hatch managed the 21 km and countless corners of The ‘Ring in 7:43.8.
Renault wanted that record back. So they’ve taken it with the new Mégane.
This isn’t any Mégane, though. It’s the latest product of Renault Sport. The racing and performance arm of the company that was born with the merger of Alpine and Gordini and has produced models like the R5 Turbo and the Clio V6.
At the bottom of the Mégane lineup is a 1.6L making 89 hp. The Megane R.S. Trophy-R uses a 1.8L turbo four that puts out a massive 300 hp. It’s the same engine used in the standard Trophy.
But to add the -R to this Mégane, Renault Sport has done less. Lots less. The company says that they’ve trimmed up to 130 kg from the car. That pays massive dividends on track as well as on the street.
Renault Sport isn’t giving out the full details of the new model just yet, but they’ve said that it will include parts from performance icons like titanium exhaust maker Akrapovic, braking legend Brembo, the suspension gurus at Ohlins, and more.
The Mégane R.S. Trophy-R will also come with an updated aerodynamics package. What Renault calls “a more radical development of its drive axles.” And reworked suspension settings.
So just how much faster was the Trophy-R compared to the Civic Type R? It’s a bit complicated. Tired of record claims, Nurburgring officials have changed lap timing rules. The previous method was from the end of the start-finish straight to the beginning of that straight. Because that’s the lap that you’re able to do most days, dubbed “bridge to gantry.” Now, ‘Ring officials want lap times to be start-finish line to start-finish line.
Using the old rules, the Trophy-R ran a 7:40.1 lap. That’s nearly four seconds faster than the Civic. Impressively quick. Under the new system, that’s a 7:45.399 since it’s a longer distance. The new Civic hasn’t been given a time on the full lap, but it’s not likely going to make up four seconds on a very short straight.
The Mégane R.S. Trophy-R will be shown off at the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend. Renault will be making just “a few hundred units only” of the car, set to hit markets (just not ours) by the end of the year.