Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 25 September 2020
As breathing rarefied air goes, the Renault Megane RS300 Trophy is rather special. 1 of just 7 to be brought into South Africa it is the most hardcore version of the Megane on sale in SA and holds true Renault’s holy grail achievement of making some of the world’s fastest-cornering powerhouse hot hatches!
- Price: R774 900 (September 2020)
- Engine: 1.8-litre 4-cylinder Turbopetrol
- Gearbox: 6-speed manual
- 0 to 100 kph: 5.7 sec
- Fuel economy: 8.2 L/100 km (claimed)
- Power/Torque: 221 kW/400 Nm
Brining The Circuit To The Road
The RS300 Trophy Edition is fitted with 355-mm Brembo brakes up front and lightweight 19-inch wheels, this all in combination with its uprated performance motor which delivers a mighty 221 kW and 400 Nm of torque through its 1.8-litre 4-cylinder turbopetrol making this easily one of the most powerful front-wheel-drive production cars available and one of the most epic to drive on winding mountain passes as well.
To add to all the madness, there is also a much louder Akrapovic exhaust system fitted as standard, a mechanical limited-slip diff and a stiffer suspension all of which makes for a track-focused drive which is brutal, hardcore and very much enthusiast focussed. With a claimed 0-to-100 kph time of just 5.7 seconds, the RS300 Trophy is brutal quick but its more about its overall finesse than it is just about brut strength.
A Champion In The Corners
The Trophy is equipped with 4-wheel steering. At lower town type speeds, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the fronts to help you take tighter lines into corners and, whereas above 100 kph, the rears turn in the same direction as the fronts to improve high-speed stability and the resultant effect is a vehicle which is relatively light and easy to manoeuvre around the city yet pin-sharp tight in the bends when the going gets rough. The semi-slick Bridgestone Potenza tyres, however, require some definite alertness particularly when the road gets wet.
Based on the Megane RS 280 Cup’s chassis, the dampers, springs and anti-roll bar are all stiffened, this makes for a definitely firm ride, yet the upshot can be felt with the Megane’s eagerness to attack turns no matter the speed.
The interior of the RS300 Trophy Megane features a familiar yet very sport-inspired space. Large Recaro bucket seats take centre stage along with the aluminium racing pedals, 6-speed manual transmission or automated dual-clutch transmission with large paddles and a large “tablet” orientated media display at the centre with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto abilities.
The instrument cluster is digital and can be particularly track focussed when RACE mode is engaged, this coupled with the enhanced sounds of the mighty Akrapovic exhaust let you know immediately that you are in for a proper treat.
Conclusion & SA Pricing
The Megane RS 300 Trophy is limited to just 7 units in South Africa and is priced at R774 900 for the manual version and R799 900 for the dual-clutch automatic. It comes with a 5-year/150 000 km warranty, as well as a 5-year/90 000 km service plan.
Though it is not cheap, it does compete against the likes of the Volkswagen Golf R, Audi S3 and alike. While its typical competitors are mighty, they are also far more common and perhaps lack some of the enthusiast focus which makes the RS300 Trophy so incredibly special.