The new, limited-edition Megane Renaultsport RS Trophy has emphatically established its performance credentials by setting a new benchmark time for a production front wheel-drive car on the Nurburgring's infamous Nordschleife circuit.
Renault Sport established its first lap record for a front-wheel drive production car at the Nordschleife on June 23 2008. That time of 8min17 posted by the Mégane Renaultsport R26.R demonstrated that a showroom-specification front wheel-drive car could beat high-performance models from elite specialist brands and tuners.
Now the Megane Renaultsport Trophy has beaten that time - which had stood for three years - by nine seconds, posting a flying lap of 8min07.97, thanks to an extra 11kW (at 195kW), careful set-up work and an optimised tyre choice by RenaultSport engineers.
Renault Sport development driver Laurent Hurgon explained: "The Nordschleife's length and layout are very different to a conventional circuit, make it a unique and technically demanding challenge. It's extremely varied, ranging from fast and even very fast in places to much twistier and slower sections.
Corners such as the 'Karusell' and 'Pflanzgarten', for instance, make huge demands on car and driver, but the Mégane Renaultsport Trophy's limited-slip differential allowed me to accelerate hard out of the turns without understeer.
"The carefully-tuned Cup chassis, fade-resistant brakes, Recaro seats, the spread of torque from 2500-5000rpm and the Bridgestone Potenza RE 050A, 235/35 R19 tyres allowed me to make the most of the car's potential and post such a quick time round this circuit - which you must always approach with a certain degree of humility."