You can’t accuse Renault of pulling its punches when it comes to its fast hatchbacks. This Trophy version of the hot Mégane looks to have the dream specification: no hefty all-wheel drive, manual ’box, a limited-slip differential, bespoke suspension, lightened brakes and even a flyweight battery.
It’s yours for just over £30,000 which seems very reasonable, especially relative to the same car you can buy in Nürburgring lap record-breaking guise (for hatchbacks) which costs, wait for it… £72,140.
Back in the real world, the Mégane is as focused as its specification suggests with all the good and bad that implies. Because it’s quite compact and incredibly grippy, it’ll dispatch country roads at supercar speeds. I liked the enthusiasm of an engine based on that in the Alpine A110, but with the boost increased somewhat.
But it is quite narrowly defined. Ride quality is not great and grip levels fall off a cliff in the wet, as you’d expect from such a stiff car. The interior is quite cheap in feel, too. A Honda Civic Type-R looks hideous by comparison, but would be an easier car with which to live and probably no less fun point to point. So if you’re a fast Renault devotee, and there are plenty out there, this one won’t disappoint; but if you’re just after a fully rounded fast hatchback, there are better options available.
Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy
Engine 1.8 litres, 4 cylinders, turbo
Power 296bhp at 6000rpm
Power to weight 209bhp per tonne
Transmission six-speed manual, four-wheel drive
Top speed 162mph
Verdict Quick, fun, but it has its flaws
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