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2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy Review

OUR TEST CAR: 2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy with Ohllins Adjustable Dampers

Should we also mention the fuel consumption? In the most eco-friendly approach possible we couldn’t get the car to sip less than 10.4 l/100 km (22.6 mpg) while in RS mode things go up to 16 l/100 km (14.7 mpg) easily.
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Go outside the busy city streets and you can get to use the RS model without stalling the engine. Be careful about others, though, you need to be on your toes because this car is not playing around. Speed gets above the speed limit in no time and you’ll be driving so fast that you need your senses hyped to the maximum limit possible, to make sure you don’t get surprised by the other drivers on the road.

Precision is the word here, and you’ll soon learn that the highway is not the best place to play around with this thing. If you don’t have a track at your disposal, maybe the best way to experience the 275 RS Trophy model is somewhere in some twisty mountain roads.

That’s where you’ll first start noticing some things.
If you had a prejudice towards front-wheel drive cars up until now, be prepared to have your mind changed in the first two corners.

There’s something up on the front axle that makes things feel like magic, and we’re referring to the mechanical limited-slip differential, of course, that works wonders in every situation. You can enter corners with plenty of speed, and it will keep you safe with the understeer to a minimum. And we really mean it.

It wasn’t completely obliterated, but we can honestly say that for a front-wheel drive car, understeer has become a thing of the past in this instance. You can basically lean on the front wheels as much as you want, pushing the front end hard into a corner and yet, you’ll come out unscathed as long as you know what you’re doing.

Sport mode reveals a bit of ESC intrusion but it’s never extremely bothering, and it offers that peace of mind that it might save you if you try and go too far. RS mode gives you more freedom and that’s where you start noticing other things about the car.

For example, the Michelin Cup 2 tires that are extremely grippy and will get you out of a corner in a hurry with massive pull, helped by the new ECU map that we were telling you about, bringing 10 extra HP. Apart from this power increase, you also get a different torque curve that has more to offer at the higher end of the rev counter, making this a blast to push to the limit.

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In RS mode is also when you’ll have another revelation, this time hiding behind the wheels. The Brembo 340mm brakes provided decent stopping power and showed little fade after putting them through their paces time after time. A bit more pedal feel might’ve been welcomed, but we were satisfied nonetheless.


Another downside is the gearbox that while direct and well geared for the track, has some rather weird gates that might make you mad at times. They are also not as close to each other as you’d expect from such a car but we guess changing the gearbox from the core might’ve been too much work in the first place.

The 2-liter turbocharged engine under the bonnet is a peach and offers plenty of performance for a car as small as this beauty. Compared to the regular RS, the R26.R powerplant was pushed up to 275 HP and 360 Nm (266 lb-ft) of torque. Yes, it’s all due to a turbocharger but you won’t be terribly bothered by the renowned turbo lag.
Predictably, the engine trades a bit of streetability for superior peak power, so will have to keep it above 3,000-3,500 rpm to enjoy its full force.

While on the street you can enjoy the two-cars-in-one effect, keeping it in the correct rev range will solve the problem on the track.

Sure, depending on the driving mode you find yourself in, that car vary from noticeable to barely there but even in its most hardcore setting, there’s still some noticeable delay in response. It’s not something you can’t live with though, and the sound the mill makes when spooling up is intoxicating.

Nevertheless, the handling remains the key here. This is a chassis at the peak of its development, and you can feel it. Certain voices have criticised the agitated steering, but this works extremely well with the balanced chassis.

This car is a riot when it comes to going sideways. Bringing the rear end in line when lifting off the gas in corners is just the beginning. You can easily slide the machine using a limited space (road width) that shouldn’t allow this.

We won’t go ahead and talk about drifting in a FWD car, but this Renault takes you as close to the notion as possible.

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Interestingly enough, the Megane RS 275 Trophy reminds us of the Nissan GT-R. Both cars handle like ballerinas on LSD (no, not the differential) and both split opinions like nothing else.


Just like in the GT-R, you can slide the Megane RS 275 Trophy to ridiculous angles and come back in complete safety, provided you know your performance driving. Cars like these are the kind that turn underdogs into what we like to call ‘Ring Wolves. Every major racetrack in the world has them.

We are talking about guys who can’t afford to go for more expensive go-fast machines, but connect deeply with their hot hatches. For instance, these people will easily hunt down a Ferrari 458 Speciale with an untrained driver.

In terms of gadgetry, we can’t say we were impressed, though. Inside the cabin, things are rather Spartan, as you’d expect from a track-focused, limited-run edition car. What does impress you is the array of monitors that can prove to be rather useful on the track.

The R-Link system is rather easy to use and going through all the parameters that car can show off with. You can see the power output, torque levels, grip, G-Forces recorded, the oil temp, coolant temperature, the amount of boost the turbos use and even time your 0-62 runs if you will.
One the most interesting apps was the traction monitor. For instance, this showed the amount of spin for each wheel during a hard launch.

You can forget about such luxuries such as a banging sound system (as that would’ve added a lot of weight to the total) or other such features. We did appreciate the Bluetooth connectivity for our phones, a feature that will come in handy especially considering you’ll need both hands on the wheel to control this monster. And while the rear-view camera is a nice tool to have, expect a low resolution.

And yet you never feel unsafe in this car. Sure, the NCAP gave the standard Megane hatch a score of just four stars but the RS versions take things a bit further in terms of safety. You get better brakes, better suspension, a sharper tool that will get you out of sticky situations if handled properly.

The ESC works flawlessly and only if you turn it completely off you might be in danger but then, to reach that certain situation, you have to admit guilt to some degree.

Prices for the Megane RS 275 Trophy start at €32,400 which is about €1,000 less than the Seat Leon Cupra ST 280 and €1,600 less than the new Honda Civic Type R. However, we can’t really see people cross buying these three alternatives. If you like German cars you’ll probably go for the Golf R or the SEAT, if you’re into JDM, the Type R will be your only choice while the Megane will appeal to a different demographic altogether.

During our time with the Megane RS 275 Trophy, we couldn’t help but compare it not to its rivals but more to other offerings the Renault Sport division has for you. We’re referring to the Clio RS, of course, and to how different the two are. As one of my friends said, the Megane is more of a Pitbull while the Clio is Bull Terrier.

The smaller car is agitated and runs around crazy whenever you don’t pay attention to it. It’s that one model in the parking lot that will be doing flybys for the entire afternoon to get your attention.

On the other hand, the Megane RS 275 Trophy is a more grave and deadly proposition. It doesn’t bark, and it doesn’t wiggle its tail that much but when the chips are down, you want it by your side as it can bite your hand off and never let go. Only hearing it growl will get your hairs up and the adrenaline flowing and that’s the best thing that can be said about a car, be that front-wheel drive or not.
THE END
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87user rating 34 votes
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autoevolution Aug 2015
71
Value for money: 7/10
History
7
Exterior
7
Interior
6
In the city
7
Open road
8
Comfort
5
Tech facts
8
Gadgets
6
Safety
8
Conclusion
9
87user rating 34 votes
Rate this car!
 
Key Specs
USEU
Engine
L4 1998 cc
Fuel
Petrol
Power kw
202
Power hp
271
Power rpm
5,500
Torque val
266
Torque rpm
3,000-5,000
Transmission
6-speed manual
Traction
FWD with mechanical locking differential
Acceleration
5.6
Top speed
158 mph
Length
169.2 in
Width
72.7 in
Height
56.5 in
Wheelbase
103.9 in
Ground clearance
5.4 in
Cargo volume
13.3 CuFT
Weight
2985 lbs
Seating
4+1
Power
202 KW/271 BHP @ 5,500 RPM
Torque
266 Lb-Ft @ 3,000-5,000 RPM
Engine
L4 1998 cc
Fuel
Petrol
Power kw
202
Power hp
275
Power rpm
5,500
Torque val
361
Torque rpm
3,000-5,000
Transmission
6-speed manual
Traction
FWD with mechanical locking differential
Acceleration
5.8
Top speed
255 km/h
Length
4298 mm
Width
1847 mm
Height
1435 mm
Wheelbase
2639 mm
Ground clearance
137 mm
Cargo volume
377 L
Weight
1355 Kg
Seating
4+1
Power
202 KW/275 HP @ 5,500 RPM
Torque
361 Nm @ 3,000-5,000 RPM
fuel efficiency
mpgOfficialOurs
City2417.8
Highway37.927
Combined31.421.2
fuel efficiency
l/100kmOfficialOurs
City9.813.2
Highway6.28.7
Combined7.511.1
base price
32,400
this review's
Guest Opinions

Sir May B. Bach

A hooligan I am not!

The Megane RS 275 Trophy is an... ahem... abomination if you ask me. This is an automobile destined for children and nothing more. Any person over 25 years of age would find it not only ridiculous as a proposal but also a tad too far on the chav side.

What can I say, I dreaded the time spent inside this automobile. First of all, my Burberry trench coat was all ruffled by the meeting with those god-awful seats. I did not even have enough room in there to take my walking cane with me. And I just do not want to recollect those repulsive red seat belts of the cheap plastic imitation of carbon fiber used on the dashboard.

During my entire experience I felt as if I was part of some medieval torture experiment, my backside being pounded time after time by those washing boards you call ‘Recaro seats’. Should I continue?

This is not something a gentleman chooses, not for quick spurts of fun or for anything else really. Considering something close to this but that won’t break your back or make you feel like you are sitting inside a plastic coffin? Maybe select the Golf R and you know how much I … ahem… love the Germans.

Photo gallery (70)
2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy2015 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy