Tested – Renault Megane RS 265 Trophy | Drive Magazine

28 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Tested – Renault Megane RS 265 Trophy | Drive Magazine

Tested #8211; Renault RS 265 Trophy

Legend or Larceny?

Nissan first came out the R35 GT-R, I have to admit, I was critical. #8220;Just a Datsun and #8220;Too much chunky not charisma#8221; were some of the I at first dismissed it with. I drove one that is, and the forceful that regardless of my own personal of automotive snobbishness, regardless of the looks worked for me or not, was a car that did even more was asked of it. A lot more, and both the and the public were asking a

Similarly when Renault this Megane RS 265 Trophy, I it for being based mostly on tyres, a smidgeon more pressure and a race car ride. not enough, I reckoned, to justify the R410K price tag for a weekends-only toy closely based on a car which can lay claim to the fringes of hot-hatch

Now after driving one for a week, I to admit I was wrong. At least, on one of criticisms. Much to my surprise, it out that the Trophy isn#8217;t organ-threateningly stiff. It#8217;s like as punishingly hard as a RS for instance, nor is it as sometimes-obstructively jouncy as a S. There#8217;s enough pliancy in the for it to at least deal reasonably the rigours of every day roads enough that from perspective at least, the RS Trophy could see some regular use racking up large doctors

In fact, the looks of this are more race car than the Which is to say, the Trophy like a thoroughbred track out on the street, with that front splitter highlighted red garnish and those preposterously arches which the black with red piping fill

People clocking it on the road positively astonished more particularly mesmerised by its brutish Although the young adults and car obviously appreciate the rarity and jostle for a closer viewing I suppose that#8217;s only considering this is a record-breaking thanks to an official Nurburgring lap of just 8#8217;08#8243;.

The fastest of any FWD ever. That#8217;s fairly right there.

And yet within the hour of collecting the RS Trophy, I really picking up on this of awe that surrounds it. Probably I was going a bit too quickly to see the reactions, and a pretty major fib which I haven#8217;t read about in any road test of this which has of course been with pretty much adulation.

Renault claim thanks to the extra 11kW the standard RS for a beefy total of at the flywheel, and of course the stickier the Trophy gains a mere in the 0-100km/h dash over the car #8211; 6 seconds … 6.1, while quite the top speed remains limited to As irrelevant as it might be, I have to that this simply is not

I held the throttle wide for literally minutes of open on my *ahem* secret test facility, and an indicated 244 was all that she give. Which I later on the GPS, is around 235 true The big two-five-oh just isn#8217;t on the even the ultra-skilled test could not have been this figure entering the Tiergarten bend at the end of the longest on the famed German circuit-cum-tollroad.

were other problems Although certainly feeling the Trophy just doesn#8217;t accelerate as fearsomely as it looks it#8217;s going to. Sure a 6s to 100km/h is good going, but to this time you have to be it, dumping the clutch at high and then slamming the shift as fast as possible without off the throttle.

And when you aren#8217;t driving that, in deference to your initial investment perhaps, quite a lot of turbo lag as well as a big hole low down that the subjective perception of the performance a little diminished. It feels but not fast in any sort of special of way.

You also have to the traction control to get anywhere to matching that sprint In fact leaving the TC enabled at all is as the point where the extra really delivers its best, past 5000rpm, breaks in first, second, and usually gear. Just in a straight on a dry road with the throttle

Which of course is enough for the control to come down on the rampant turbo motor the power right when the stuff starts happening. So to the best of this particular motor, the ESP has to at least be clicked Sport, preferably just entirely because even in the hammer sometimes comes with a disappointing over-eagerness.

you do get quite a tasty exhaust in the Sport mode, you also get an idle speed which do your fuel consumption any at all, as now at the traffic lights the is still turning over at #8211; 1300rpm, rather the 900-odd of the conventional ECU map. At thanks to the softening effect on due to the blown nature of the thing, the throttle map doesn#8217;t result in awful lurching which RS drivers will be familiar You can still diddle along in quite comfortably in this

Another every day drawback is the lack of blind spot although since the C-pillars of the are unchanged from the regular car isn#8217;t something which only this limited-edition. way, without becoming familiar with the blind sections of the wing mirrors always operating on faith in region, which can be disconcerting in Oh, and while Renault quote a rated fuel economy in the of 11l/100km, don#8217;t expect to do less than 12 as a general average.

Also, our demo car with a few thousand kms on the clock was already its outer window lining on the glass, on both sides. The use of plastic at the front and rear around a lot too to the vibrations of the road and which you can especially see at night due to the edges of your headlight It#8217;s all pretty noisy at cruising speed, and the turning is far larger than a car of this should need.

However, the Renault SA guys and gals up in disgust and stop reading might look to be turning yet another infamous lambasting of a which the remainder of the globe#8217;s press can do nothing but sing the of, let#8217;s change step here. Despite the fibs on the and the quirks and foibles, the RS Trophy is nothing less than a leader.

The thing is, if the Trophy was in #8220;just#8221; the hot-hatch class, the standard Megane RS does, the and the fact-fudging would see it losing out to far rounded opponents, like the GTI Ed35 off the top of my head. The Golf is as quick but on a whole other of practicality, it#8217;s more but almost as exciting through the more reasonably priced and out surprisingly effectively for a Golf retaining the build quality of the

But that isn#8217;t the competition the takes aim at. In fact, even the R isn#8217;t really in the centre of the crosshairs #8211; although competitive on price and straight performance it doesn#8217;t quite the ruthlessly focussed nature of particular RS.

The rarity factor 30 will ever come to legendary record-holding status and and dramatic flair of the Trophy it more realistically against which make its price tag downright cheap. Like the M or Audi RS3 for French car fanatics. the Porsche Cayman and Lotus would be prime track day for the Trophy driver to hassle.

is a car that was built to be as special as not a Megane can be, but as special as Renault the kings of the FWD performance hatchback can at the moment, at least until the of the new Alpine should that actually happen. And that be FWD. It#8217;s a car that was without the pressure of having to a market to buy it, as only a few are being so only those who really one actually have a chance of one.

There are undoubtedly customers than there are cars to buy. So they afford to go a little mad.

By the end of my with the Trophy, I had gone as far as to liken it to icons like the Countach #8211; same exuberant approach to aesthetics, a devil-may-car thirst, and it was later that even the great (as did quite a few of the supercar-makers of the era) may been a little ambitious in the famous top speeds of particularly the examples of this mid-engined It was also a car which some struggle to justify as an every day but it was always an event and on the right and conditions could deliver a that would stick you for life.

Unlike the GT-R I started article with, this may not have the outright fire to breathless respect in a straight but point it through a good set of at speed and the result is the same. sticky tyres and front LSD it absolutely ravenous for apexes, one after the other with the of a fat kid packing away chocolate

Yes you can easily interrupt this flow with too much full throttle causing straight away with in any of the first three gears but you#8217;ve actually got to adapt style a bit to get the best from the A bit like an old 911, it teaches you new of doing things #8211; I found devastatingly effective was to not barrel in and rely on the abundant grip to pull you through, but get the hyperactive nose settled a line as early as possible and smoothly increase the throttle long before you#8217;d to be able to do this in an #8220;average#8221; hot FWD

The 19#8243; Potenzas seem to dig crazy for traction when comfortably leaning onto very shallow sidewalls, and you can the diff doing its best when there#8217;s power through and literally sling-shotting you the clipping point and roaring and out onto the straight. It#8217;s enthralling and extremely addictive.

the steering being electric nothing short of generous of information being fed to your nervous system for utmost even if most of this is the work of the gifted chassis than the steering itself. And the that it#8217;s a six-speed only is worthy of praise days, forcing you to remember driving tricks we enthusiasts used to employ before became the norm. The shift is a rubbery but feels just when snap-shifting furiously up and it working a great bit of tarmac to the

And then there are the big, disc brakes, which immense stopping power a precision feel and no chance of on the public road at least. And adequately pliant suspension has the circa 1300kg of mass in hand, with tigerish to any inputs and a seemingly unbreachable of control.

It all comes together to a gem which shines more than all of the cold hard statistics could suggest. The RS Trophy is one of those cars admirers of the RS brand should for and crave, a car which deserves and admiration for being so pure and that non-emotional considerations are irrelevant. It#8217;s all about the the heartfelt, the unfathomably infectious, and the joy of celebrating modern high motoring in its own unique shape, and fashion.

For that unbelievably objective, for that deliberately target market, the Megane RS is simply unparalleled. It is a weapon, and as a it#8217;s utterly mesmerising. not the best all-round hot hatch on the no, but it couldn#8217;t care less it just doesn#8217;t want to be.

A does not feel bad about not able to cut a loaf of bread just because like a it also has a blade and a hilt, and a gun is no devastatingly effective at doing it was built to do just because it whip up an award-winning souffle as

It#8217;s just very, special.

Russell Bennett

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