If the Megane RS 280 leaves you wanting more heat then try the RS 300 Trophy. But does it add enough extra sizzle?

THE NEW Megane RS Trophy has very nice side windows. I noticed because most of my track time in it was spent looking through them. Goodness me, it’s one tail-happy car, partly because Portugal’s Estoril circuit was polished shiny by rain, and partly because it’s set up that way. The regular Megane RS 280 is one of the most throttle-adjustable hot hatches around, and the new, more focused 300 Trophy is no different.

The regular Renault Sport Megane has always been followed by a harder-core Trophy version, seasoned with a variety of spicy upgrades.

Headline tweak for the new one is a 20bhp power hike to 296bhp, thanks to a new, larger turbo and reconfigured exhaust. Torque is up too, to 295lb ft if you pick the manual gearbox, or 310lb ft with the twin-clutch auto and its stronger constitution.

No suspension changes, other than the standard fitment of the stiffer Cup chassis package (an option on the RS, which also adds a Torsen limited-slip diff), since Renault Sport says it already had the Trophy in mind when it developed the Cup set-up. Likewise, lightweight multi-material front brake discs, usually an option, are fitted as standard here, with further Trophy-specific cooling grooves. They cut 1.8kg a corner, and you can shave further kilos with optional whispy-spoked lightweight wheels. The Trophy gets its own shiny 19-inch wheel design with red flashes and a set of spe-cially developed Bridgestones.

The other difference to spot is a pair of lightweight Recaro seats trimmed in alcantara. They’re adjustable rather than fixed shells, and thin enough to allow plenty of room behind them.
A small list of additions, then. More than the sum of their parts?

You do notice the extra slug of torque and power, both on the track and on the road, and the more purposeful, crackly note from the higher-flow exhaust (which is demure at low speed on the road, the result of a new active valve system).
You notice the standard-fit rear-wheel steer too, in the lack of lock you need

> Price £32,000 (est) > Engine 1798cc 16v turbo 4-cyl, 296bhp @ 6000rpm, 295lb ft @ 2400rpm > Transmission 6-speed manual, limited-slip diff, front-wheel drive > Performance 5.7sec 0-62mph, 162mph, 34.9mpg, 183g/km CO2 (NEDC) > Weight 1419kg (est) > On sale Now

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