Megane Renaultsport R275 Trophy-RRenault has usurped the SEAT Leon Cupra and set a new production front-wheel drive Nurburgring Nordschleife lap record with the Megane Renaultsport 275 Trophy-R.

The new limited edition car lapped the ‘Ring in 7 minutes 54.36 seconds, beating the Leon Cupra by more than FOUR seconds (the Leon Cupra’s sub-8 minute time was 7 minutes 58.44 seconds).

It means Renault has retaken the record it previously held with the Megane R.S., which set a time of 8 minutes 7.87 seconds back in June 2011.

Megane Renaultsport 275 Trophy-R: the £36k Megane

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Renaultsport created a much-honed Megane for the lap record challenge: nearly 100kg lighter than standard, the 275 Trophy-R features Ohlins Road&Track adjustable dampers, Allevard composite springs and 19-inch Speedline Turini wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.

Engine power has been upped to 275hp, with more mid-range torque between 3,000-5,000rpm, although peak torque of 236lb ft is unchanged. It sounds better too, courtesy of a titanium Akrapovic exhaust – Renault describes it as “deeper… more raucous”.

It boasts a kerb weight of just 1,280kg, thanks to an extensive weight-saving programme that includes:

  • Deleting the rear wiper (saving 1kg)
  • Recaro Pole Position polycarbonate seats (saving 22kg)
  • Removal of most insulating and absorbing materials (saving 18kg)
  • Removal of the rear seat (saving 20kg)
  • Deletion of air con and radio, plus fitting a simplified centre console (saving 10kg)
  • Akrapovic titanium exhaust (saving 4kg)

However, it is not cheap. List price for the limited edition car, of which 30 units will be available in the UK? From £36,430…