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Just how good is the Civic Type R?

Honda Civic Type R

The all-new Honda Civic Type R had an extremely long development cycle. It’s now been launched and has to go about living up to the hype Honda has generated.

Here Steve Sutcliffe from Auto Express takes the Type R to the tight Llandow Circuit in Wales to see how it compared with the Seat Leon Cupra 280 and the Renault Megane RS275 Trophy.

That’s all well and good, nobody would be surprised if the Type R was the quickest of that trio. But what if the Audi RS3 and BMW M3 are added to the list?

[Thanks to John for the tip]


Renault Megane RS275 Trophy-R – Australian pricing

Renault Megane RS275 Trophy R

Renault is bringing the Megane RS275 to Australia and we’re getting a fair whack of the limited edition model, too. Out of the 250 to be sold worldwide, 50 will be coming down under—Australia is one of the highest selling markets for Megane hot hatches.

As the image above suggests this car has lapped the Nürburgring Norschleife in under 8 minutes and lays claim to being the fastest front-wheel drive production car around the famed track money can buy. And to buy it in Australia you’ll need 61,990 monies.

For those monies you’ll get one RS275 Trophy R, with its race-tuned Ohlins suspension, super sticky Michelin rubber, crackly Akrapovic exhaust system and the weight saving benefits of throwing out the rear seat. Yep, the Trophy R is an out and out two-seater.

Also included in the asking price is the Nürburgring Accessory Kit, of which a Brembo brake kit, lightweight lithium-ion battery and six-point harness belts are the most notable items.

Australian deliveries of the RS275 Trophy R are scheduled for January 2015, so best get down to your local Froggie dealer soon if you want to be one of the 50 coolest hot hatch kids on the block.

Honda Peugeot Renault Video Volkswagen

Hot hatch heaven

Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTI

This video showcasing eight seven of the best hot hatches money can buy is not perfect, but it is pretty cool. The clip was published by the Goodwood Road & Racing YouTube channel and features French racer Nic Minassian behind the wheel of four old and four new hot hatches, listed below:

  • Honda: EP3 Civic Type R v FN2 Civic Type R
  • Peugeot: 205 GTi v 208 GTi
  • Renault: Clio Williams v Megane RS 265
  • Volkswagen: Mk1 Golf GTI v Mk7 Golf GTD

Save for the GTD that makes for a very impressive line up of cars, all of which we would love to drive. And driving them all on the same day, on the same road, well, that would be a great day out.

Just don’t expect this clip to wow you with performance stats or hard data.


Renault Megane RS275 Trophy on sale down under

Renault Megane RS275 Trophy

Renault’s latest limited edition example of the Megane hot hatch, the RS275, is now on sale in Australia and it will set you back $52,990. For those playing at home, that’s just $3,090 more than an Audi S1.

In exchange for your money Renault will oblige you with a finely tuned Megane riding on a Cup chassis and now with 202kW on tap from its 2.0 litre turbocharged four pot. You’ll be able to impress your mates by bragging about your Akrapovic exhaust, that’s if they don’t hear you coming first. It’s a Renault, so you get lots of in your face decals too. It must be fast, right, just look at all the pretty stickers!

Only 100 of these RS275 Trophy models will be offered for sale in Australia. It’s okay, though, if you miss out just wait until next year when the next limited edition hot Megane is up for grabs.


Renault Megane RS275 Trophy-R revealed

Renault Megane RS275 Trophy R

Renault has revealed details for its Nürburgring conquering Megane RS275 Trophy-R. This is the #UNDER8 car the French hot hatch masters have been preparing ever since Seat stole its front-wheel drive Nürburgring record.

Like the R26.R before it this Trophy-R sheds weight in the chase for performance. At 1297kg it is 79kg lighter than the regular RS275 Trophy. Weight loss has been achieved by chucking out the back seats altogether and replacing the fronts with lightweight Recaro racing numbers. A lithium-ion battery sheds 16kg, while model specific Brembo brakes save a further 3kg.

Other standard features for the Trophy-R include the noted Cup chassis, a limited-slip differential), an Akrapovic exhaust, Öhlins Road&Track adjustable dampers with composite springs and sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.

Power comes from the 2.0 litre turbo found in the Trophy and as the model name suggests provides 275hp (202kW).

Put all that together with a French bloke named Laurent Hurgon (Renault Sport test driver) and you can lap the Ring in 7 minutes 54.36 seconds. That’s four seconds quicker than that pesky Seat and an impressive 14 seconds faster than the RS265.

Only 250 Trophy-Rs will be made, with reports suggesting 50 will come to Australia at a price of around $65,000 each. That’s a fair allocation and testament to this country’s proven love of Renault Sport product.

More pics, detailed press material and, of course, video of the Trophy-R in action can be found below.


Renault Megane RS275 Trophy announced

Renault Megane RS275 Trophy

What do you do if some Spanish upstarts take away your Nürburgring record? You start a hashtag revolution and raid the aftermarket parts bins from some of the world’s best automotive suppliers, that’s what!

The net result is this new Renault Megane RS275 Trophy. As its name suggests it has 10 more horsepower than its RS265 donor car. If you like the 21st century there’s 202kW on tap. The addition of a titanium exhaust from Akrapovic has no doubt freed both power and decibels from the 2.0 litre turbo.

From here it starts to get a bit murkier. The goal is for the RS275 Trophy to lap the Nürburgring in #UNDER8 minutes. Or more specifically, faster than the 7:58.44 lap time set by the Seat Leon Cupra 280.

To help reach that target a few “optional” extra can be ticked when ordering your RS275. They include adjustable Ohlins suspension, lightweight Speedline 19″ alloys and super sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.

All through the press release we keep getting told this will be an exclusive limited edition model. However is not it stated what limited means. Limited to what they can sell, or limited to 200 cars as perhaps indicated on the photo of the model-specific door sills?

As to that lap record, we’ll have to wait until the middle of next month to see what this RS275 Trophy can do. And if you want to by one you won’t be getting your new car until at least October. It will be offered in Australia, although we suspect 2015 will be well and truly under way by the time that happens.

Drive Thru Renault

Drive Thru: Renault Megane RS 265 Trophy 808

Renault Megane RS 265 Trophy 808

If people keep telling you how good something is, when you eventually get to sample it for yourself, you naturally start hunting for flaws. In this case, we’re talking about the Renault Megane RS 265; specifically the Trophy 808 edition.

Motoring press the world over cannot seem to heap enough praise on the pugnaciously styled Megane hot hatch. The look is very much a love or hate proposition. But after driving the RS 265 for myself, I could only come to one conclusion; I loved it! I tried really hard to disprove the general consensus and, aside from a few minor gripes, I ended up falling in line with the crowd.

So, what makes the Megane RS 265 so damn good? It all starts when you sit behind the wheel. The seating position is close to perfect. Helped, of course, by the Recaro seats that are standard in the Trophy 808. The pedal placement is actually perfect; anyone should be able to heel and toe in this car.

There are some faults inside the cabin. Namely some of the controls and stalks are hard to see and difficult to use. Although, I’m sure such gripes would be overcome with long term ownership.

Around town… you know what, let’s forget about city commuting for the moment. You’re probably not interested in that anyway, and who can blame you.


Renault Megane RS 265 – Australian pricing

Renault Megane RS 265

As is the case with Renault in Australia fans have been made to wait for the manufacturer’s latest and greatest hot hatch. But now, a year after its European debut, the Megane RS 265 is available down under.

Obviously the 265 refers to the peak horsepower figure within the car’s 2.0 litre turbo four; if you deal in kilowatts the magic number is 195. Coupled with a very handy 360Nm of torque and a good old fashioned 6-speed manual box, the front-wheel drive master can reach 100km/h in six seconds flat.

The Megane RS 250 was launched in Australia in late 2010 and to find the extra 15 horsepower for the RS 265 Renault has turned up the boost on the turbo by 0.2 bar, to a new peak of 2.5 bar. They also upgraded the air intake and tweaked the ECU to suit.

With a steady right foot Renault reckon you’ll use fuel at the rate of 8.2l/100km, but, really, why buy a hot Megane to drive it like a nanna?

Renault has made the RS 265 available in four different specifications. The range starts with the Cup model, which has a manufacturer’s list price of $42,640. There are three Trophy specifications: the regular Trophy is priced from $47,140, the Trophy+ from $51,640 and the limited edition Trophy 8:08 (pictured above) is $49,990.

The Trophy 8:08 is a reference to the car’s Nürburgring lap time, which stands as the current front-wheel drive record for a production vehicle around the famed 20.832km Nordschleife. Only 100 will be heading to Australia and you can have any colour you like so long as it’s liquid yellow or pearl white.

We reckon the RS 265 range is pretty good value for money and in the entry-level Cup model you get things like 18″ alloy wheels, Brembo brakes, LED daytime running lights, rear parking sensors, limited slip diff, dual zone climate control, Bluetooth audio and more as standard equipment. You can read the full list in the detailed Australian press kit, available below.

Over and above the equipment found in the Cup the Trophy adds Recaro seats, 19″ Steev alloy wheels, hands free entry and tyre pressure monitoring. In addition to those features the Trophy+ includes Renault Sport heated leather seats with electric adjustment, integrated sat nav with a 7″ screen, reversing camera, bi-xenon headlights, a fixed glass roof and front/rear parking sensors.

The Trophy 8:08 drops the sat nav and reversing camera from the Trophy+ along with the fixed glass roof, but picks up model specific decals.

A comprehensive range of 50 wallpaper-friendly photos and detailed press information awaits after the break. Once you’ve read all that, don’t be surprised if you find yourself making contact with your local Renault dealer. Actually, it may surprise you to learn that Australia is the world’s third largest market for the Megane RS models.

Renault Subaru

Renault Megane 265 Trophy v Subaru BRZ

Renault Megane 265 v Subaru BRZ

Okay, it’s probably no surprise that the 265hp on offer in the Renault Megane 265 Trophy—one of the world’s best front-wheel drive chassis—can see off the 200hp found under the bonnet of the rear-wheel drive Subaru BRZ. But watch this video from Evo, filmed at Bedford Autodrome, and see if you think everything went according to script.


Renault Megane RS250 MonacoGP on sale now

Renault Megane RS250 Monaco GP

Renault is trading off its F1 involvement once again with this new Megane RS250 Monaco Grand Prix Limited Edition. Good to see they’ve not lost the knack of coming up with catchy model titles.

Living up to its ‘Limited Edition’ name just 50 new RS250 MonacoGP models will find their way to Australia; all individually numbered. The price of admission into the MonacoGP club is $48,990 plus on roads ($7000 more than a standard RS250).

Apart from its lengthy title other factors separating the MonacoGP from regular RS250s are white pearlescent paint and piano black trim on the wing mirrors, fog light surrounds and rear diffuser. There is also special ‘MonacoGP’ badging, of course.

Inside, a more tangible benefit is given in the form of an integrated Sat Nav system; the first time we’ve seen that in a Megane down under. As well, the MonacoGP comes standard with 19″ alloys, bi-xenon headlights and four-pot Brembo brakes.

Aside from that it’s pretty much usual Megane RS250 fare, including the same 184kW/340Nm engine from the regular range. A few more ponies would have been nice, don’t you think. Having said that, Renault’s well-tuned chassis still comes standard.


Megane Renaultsport 265 Trophy sets new FWD Nürburgring record

Megane Renaultsport 265 Trophy

Renault is shouting from the rooftops about its new Nürburgring record for front-wheel drive vechicles. The new mark is 8:07.97 and was set by development driver Laurent Hurgon at the wheel of the latest hot Megane, the RS 265 Trophy. Take that BMW!

Check out our coverage on for more, including in-car footage of the full lap.

Motorsports Renault

Ready-to-race Megane Renaultsport N4

Megane Reanultsport N4

Like the road ready Renault Megane RS 250? Then you’ll love this N4 rally-spec version. With 265hp (197kW) and 470Nm of torque on offer from its tweaked 2.0 litre turbo four, this front-wheel drive beast is a ready-to-race Group N rally car.

Cosworth Electronics are responsible for the small performance gains over the road car. Where regulations allowed they have improved the ECU and added both a lightened flywheel and a water spray function for the turbo’s intercooler.

The Megane Renaultsport N4 is designed specifically for privateer entrants, so all you need is a bit under £50K to buy the car and whatever it’ll cost you to race. So, what are you waiting for!

More pics and Renault’s full press release can be seen after the break.