Renault announced today that it set a new record lapping the Nurburgring in a front-wheel drive car.
Completing the circuit in 7:54:36, the front-wheel drive Megane R.S. 275 Trophy-R bested the SEAT Leon Cupra 280. A track-focused lightweight version of the RS 275, the Trophy-R is 220 lbs lighter than a normal RS 275 thanks in part to polycarbonate front seats and an optional lithium-ion battery.
The same 275-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine powers this version as the normal RS 275 through a six-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential. Enhanced brakes that save weight and improve stopping ability are part of the package and certainly didn’t hurt the lap time. Neither did the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.
Production of the car will be limited to 250 and it will go on sale in Europe soon. But Renault’s glory might be short-lived. Honda is currently developing its new Civic Type-R that it previously promised to be the record-holder when it reaches production. That car uses the company’s new turbocharged 2.0-liter “Earth Dreams” engine that made roughly 280 hp in the concept car preview shown first during this year’s Geneva Motor Show.