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£36,085 when new
What’s this raucous-looking thing? This is Renault’s hardest-cored hot hatchback, the Renaultsport Megane 275 Trophy-R. The R signifies ‘Radicale’ - French for extreme - and there are precisely no prizes for identifying this as the spiritual successor to 2008’s wondrous Megane R26.R. Like its forebear, the Trophy-R has snared itself the front-wheel-drive lap record around the Nürburgring. Though at 7m54s, the new Megane’s time is a full 23 seconds faster than the R26.R’s. It got there via a similarly strict diet, with 100kg stripped from the already honed 275 Trophy. As a result, the 271bhp 2.0-litre turbo four has 1280kg to shift, meaning a 5.8sec 0-62mph time and a 158mph top speed. Your only transmission option is a six-speed manual. So what’s been stripped out?