The Trophy-R isn’t the kind of car for those seeking sleeper status in their daily drive. It’s not just the pearl white body, black roof or even the fire-engine red racing style wheels and sticker pack that give it away as something other drivers should either respect or fear. It’s more the fact that the madmen at Renault Sport have stripped the poor thing bare in the interest of shedding weight. Lots of weight. Like, 100 kilos less than the already hardcore 275 Trophy version.
Those lightweight 19-inch Speedline alloy wheels alone save around 16 kilos, and they’re also shod with some of the best road rubber that money can buy; super sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s for maximum corner carving ability.
Inside, there’s a pair of Recaro racing seats with harnesses, and not much else. But those pews save a whopping 47 kilos, meaning the Trophy-R tips the scales at just 1284kg.
There’s no radio (that saves 1kg), and no Bluetooth, either. No sat-nav, and no air conditioning (another 6.6kg saved). There are no rear seats, as they’ve been ditched to make room for the heavy bracing, as well as four full-sized wheels. For most buyers, that alone would be a deal breaker, but for the bona fide enthusiast or track day junkie, this is the holy grail of affordable supercar slayers.
While the Megane Renault Sport 275 Trophy-R might be devoid of all modern day creature comforts, when it comes to getting the job done on the racetrack, all the good stuff is there.
The racing-style seats are upholstered in stitched leather with Alcantara inserts for maximum comfort and support, even when you’re peddling at ten tenths. For maximum body-hugging torso traction, you’ll want to strap into the real-deal Sabelt six-point harness.
This is a car that has been engineered to break lap times at the Nürburgring, so big speeds can be carried through the bends. It doesn’t take long to get used to it either, such is the level of work and commitment that has gone into honing the Renault Sport Cup chassis.
Standard kit like the limited slip diff and “PerfoHub” double-axis front suspension keeps the front end sharp and wonderfully precise, as well as minimising torque steer. Unfortunately, if you bury the right pedal with a decent dose of right or left lock, you’ll still cop some wheel tug.
Published: Tuesday, December 29, 2015