Tested: Renault Megane RS 265 Trophy – Road Test

19 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Tested: Renault Megane RS 265 Trophy – Road Test

Tested: Renault Megane RS 265 Trophy

There are few things in life that make me happier than a truly hot hatch. Every time I get into one, the experience rekindles that sense of anticipation that you got when you took your first solo drive after getting your licence.

However, there was something a little different about the Renault Mégane RS 265 Trophy Special Edition, besides its stupendously long name, that made it that much more exciting, that much more exhilarating with just a hint of danger.

My first thought when I got into the hungry yellow hatchback was, “Is this finally the car to take the hot hatch crown from Volkswagen’s Golf GTI?” You see, the GTI is just such a well put together piece of kit that many pretenders have fallen before its gutsy performance, excellent road manners and sheer determination.

Well, the answer to my question is an emphatic yes, but at a cost.

First, let’s get to the nuts and bolts of the matter. Powered by a 2.0-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder mill, this top of the range Mégane RS boasts a heady 195kW of power – that’s 10 more than its standard RS counterpart.

That’s good enough to launch it from 0 to 100km/h in just six seconds while its good for a top speed of 255km/h; relatively unheard of numbers in this segment.

Under the skin, the Trophy possesses Renault’s RS Cup chassis, limited slip differential and Brembo 4-piston brake callipers wrapped around the front 340mm grooved discs all hiding behind 19-inch STEEV black alloy rims with red piping. All of this adds up to an unbeaten front-wheel-drive lap time of 8:07,97 set around the Nürburgring.

Surprising? Not really. This is one supremely competent hatch.

Inside, the cabin plays host to all the right technological gubbins; The radio sports Bluetooth, USB and iPod connectivity while the two-zone climate control keeps you cool under pressure. The rear parking aid is especially useful considering the view out the back is somewhat compromised (sometimes design takes precedence over function).

But it’s behind the leather steering wheel, cosseted by the Recaro racing seats, feet hovering nervously over the aluminium RS pedals, that the Trophy’s real credentials shine through. Hitting the ESP button puts the car’s stability system into Sport mode, offering a Power Start function while, at the same time, reducing the amount of nannying from the ESP and ASR systems. However, turning the ESP off completely is probably not recommended for the average driver.

I said at the beginning of this story that the Mégane RS 265 Trophy could take the hot hatch crown at a price. What price? Well, not that I actually care, but some may bleat that the Trophy doesn’t come in a 5-door model.

Let’s face facts guys, you don’t really want your kids in this car anyway.

The real downside is that it’s not really all that much faster than the standard Mégane RS with the Cup chassis, despite being R10 000 dearer. It’s also R35 000-odd more than the aforementioned Golf GTI 35 Edition.

But you know what? I would still have one.

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