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DCT-Equipped Renault Megane RS Trophy Drag Races Honda Civic Type R, Should've Stayed Put

DRAG RACE: Honda Civic Type R vs Renault Megane RS Trophy 15 photos
Photo: CAR on YouTube
DRAG RACE: Honda Civic Type R vs Renault Megane RS TrophyDRAG RACE: Honda Civic Type R vs Renault Megane RS TrophyDRAG RACE: Honda Civic Type R vs Renault Megane RS TrophyDRAG RACE: Honda Civic Type R vs Renault Megane RS TrophyDRAG RACE: Honda Civic Type R vs Renault Megane RS TrophyDRAG RACE: Honda Civic Type R vs Renault Megane RS TrophyDRAG RACE: Honda Civic Type R vs Renault Megane RS TrophyDRAG RACE: Honda Civic Type R vs Renault Megane RS TrophyDRAG RACE: Honda Civic Type R vs Renault Megane RS TrophyDRAG RACE: Honda Civic Type R vs Renault Megane RS TrophyDRAG RACE: Honda Civic Type R vs Renault Megane RS TrophyDRAG RACE: Honda Civic Type R vs Renault Megane RS TrophyDRAG RACE: Honda Civic Type R vs Renault Megane RS TrophyDRAG RACE: Honda Civic Type R vs Renault Megane RS Trophy
Alternatively known as Renaultsport, the Renault Sport motorsport and performance division was founded in 1976. The French automaker phased it out at the end of 2023 in favor of the Alpine brand, which – as you're well aware by now – is how Renault likes to roll in F1 and the WEC as well.
Renault Sport's final production model is the Megane RS, a compact-sized hatch with the beating heart of the Alpine A110 sports car. The Megane RS in the featured clip is a bit more special, for it's a Trophy specification. Rated at 300 ps and 420 Nm of torque, meaning 295 ponies and 310 pound-feet, the Trophy further sweetens the deal with slightly lighter wheels, better tires, a Torsen mechanical limited-slip differential, and firmer suspension.

Customers had a choice between a manual or a dual-clutch tranny, with the pictured vehicle packing the quicker-shifting box. The Honda Civic Type R next to it comes with a stick shift exclusively. It also packs a bigger punch, for its turbo I4 displaces just under 2.0 liters instead of the Renault's 1.8 liters.

Neither model was designed for outright acceleration, but rather to reward the driver in the corners with little in the way of compromises over a regular hatchback. Despite a bit of wheel spin at launch, the Civic Type R immediately starts putting distance between it and the Megane RS Trophy on the Aldo Scribante Circuit's long main straight. Named after a motor racing philanthropist of Italian origin, the circuit is located in South Africa.

Although the Megane RS Trophy appears to be catching up to the Civic Type R as they approach the finish line, the manual-equipped Honda still manages to reach the quarter mile almost a car length in front of the French contender. The finish line footage also shows a building with a large format print that reads Scuderia Scribante, referring to the Formula 1 team that mostly competed in the South African Grand Prix between 1962 and 1975.

DRAG RACE\: Honda Civic Type R vs Renault Megane RS Trophy
Photo: CAR on YouTube
In this part of the world, the Civic Type R is good for 235 kW and the very same peak torque as the Megane RS Trophy. 235 kilowatts convert to 320 metric horsepower or 315 mechanical ones. The hatchback from the Land of the Rising Sun also happens to be a bit lighter, with Honda quoting 1,429 kilograms (make that 3,150 pounds) compared to the Renault's 1,443 kgs (3,181 lbs).

A manual hatchback asserting dominance over a DCT-equipped challenger is hugely impressive, but alas, the internal combustion-engined hot hatch is living on borrowed time. Renault discontinued the Megane RS in late 2023, the Hyundai group confirmed no more i20 N and i30 N for Europe, and the all-wheel-drive Toyota GR Yaris is hideously expensive in France due to an emissions-based taxation system. How expensive?

Think €46,300 for the car with the standard manual transmission and €45,990 on top of that for the 190 grams of carbon dioxide emissions per kilometer, bringing the grand total to a whopping €92,290 ($100,010 at current exchange rates). Pardon my French, but sacre bleu, that's way too over the top!

Unfortunately, electric performance cars are pretty expensive in their own right. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 N comes to mind, which – at €74,900 in Germany – is much pricier than the €33,650 Hyundai i30 N.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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