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Renault Megane R.S. 300 Trophy – long-term review

We're running a bright yellow Megane R.S. 300 Trophy

Specification:
Renault Megane R.S. 300 Trophy
Engine:
1798cc, 4cyl turbo, FWD, 296bhp, 295lb ft
Claimed MPG:
34.4mpg, 183g/km CO2
Performance:
0–62mph in 5.7secs, 162mph
Weight:
1419kg
Price:
£31,835 OTR/£36,185 as tested/£455pcm

Fed up with the depressing unpredictability of a British summer, we’ve decided to add some sizzle to the TG Garage, courtesy of a very, very yellow Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy. There are many rungs to the fast Megane ladder and – as a reminder – the 300 Trophy is the penultimate step. Rather confusingly, you’ve got a choice of 280 Sport (kicking off at around £27k), a 280 Cup and the 300 Trophy version (ours is £36k as tested). 

The latter two get stiffer suspension and a diff on the driven front axle. All three get a four-wheel-steering (4WS) system called 4Control, but now there’s also a range-topping, limited-run Trophy R. That bins the hyperactive 4WS, 40kg of weight and if you add expensive goodies like optional carbon-ceramic brakes and flashy carbon wheels its price becomes a chest-tightening, are-you-serious £70k. All four use a 1.8-litre turbo, producing 276bhp in the Sport and Cup, and 296bhp in the Trophy and Trophy R. A 6spd manual ’box remains standard while a paddleshifting auto is a £1,700 option on all models except the R.

Being the 300, we get unique 19in wheels (that save 2kg per corner and make you look like a bit idiotic as they’re highlighted in red), a pop-bang sports exhaust, bi-material brake discs (saving 1.8kg per corner), the RS performance monitor, a leather/Alcantara steering wheel and lightweight battery (another 8kg saved). All told, it weighs 17kg less and has 20bhp more than the standard car. And an incredibly stiff ride (more on that another time). We’ve also ticked a few boxes – the Bose stereo (£800) and Recaro seats (£1,500). What we didn’t spec was a high-pitched chirp each time you hit the accelerator. So it’s gone back to be looked at. Then we can tell you if this Megane lives up to its iconic status. We sure hope it does.

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