Renault sets front-wheel-drive record at Suzuka with Mégane RS Trophy-R

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Developed as a racing car by Renault Sport engineers, a Mégane RS Trophy-R has been driven around the 3.6-mile Suzuka circuit in 2 minutes 24.454 seconds – smashing the lap record by more than three seconds – at the hands of Laurent Hurgon. Having previously set new benchmarks at Spa and the Nürburgring, the 300hp Trophy-R with its reduced weight, improved aerodynamics, and modified chassis and suspension, has become very popular in Japan.

For the Japanese market, the car has the option of carbon-ceramic brakes, and it also benefits from being nearly 290 lb lighter than the basic RS Trophy. More than 50 vehicles have already been reserved by Renault Japan, which has overtaken Germany and France as the most popular market for Renault Sport’s RS range.

“The new Mégane R.S. Trophy-R has set a record in its category at Suzuka in Japan. This performance is particularly meaningful for the 10,000-strong local community of Renault Sport and Trophy-R fans. It demonstrates the effectiveness of the testing campaign we conducted on-site to meet their expectations. This is enough to further strengthen the relationship with our international customer base,” said Patrice Ratti, Renault Sports Cars’ general manager.

“We’ve learned lessons from previous versions and kept a close eye on the competition so that we can offer benchmark performance levels right from the launch of the car. It’s a very competitive market, one in which all the major manufacturers operate. The engineers develop simulations that help us improve the performance of previous models, despite the fact that launch windows and lead times are tightening all the time. New technologies also mean that we have to review everything constantly,” Hurgon added.

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Liam is a freelance writer and sub-editor for The Daily Telegraph. He has written 70 books on subjects ranging from the history of Ferrari and Formula 1 to the world’s most famous TV cars. He has edited another 40 books, including the Discarded Science series by Hugo Award-winning author John Grant. He is also the author of eight screenplays, two of which are now in pre-production.

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