The uprated four-cylinder is now also more responsive and eager to rev, owing to the use of new turbocharger hardware that’s inspired by Renault Sport’s Formula 1 engine. The turbine, which rotates at almost 200,000rpm, is now mounted on a ceramic ball bearing, saving weight and reducing friction by a third. This responsiveness is maximised when the new exhaust system bypasses a silencer with a mechanical valve.
Renault Sport says the extra urgency of the powertrain essentially offsets a loss in power caused by increased back pressure, which has come thanks to the fitment of a new particulate filter, encouraged by the introduction of the WLTP emissions regulations. The powertrain therefore complies with the latest Euro 6d-Temp regulations.
The dual-clutch automatic gearbox enables the maximum torque figure, but the six-speed manual requires a reduction in peak torque to bring it down to 295lb ft. That’s still a 7lb ft improvement over the standard Mégane RS, however.
The EDC ’box enables the slightly higher output because it can work with “specific mapping”, Renault Sport says. That advantage, as well as the quicker shifting times, will likely give an EDC-equipped Trophy the better straight-line performance, although at this stage only a 0-62mph time for the manual is provided. It hits the mark in 5.7sec, 0.1sec quicker than the normal manual RS.
The fitment of aluminium hubs, which, along with new 19in Jerez alloy wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza S001 tyres, help to lower unsprung mass to improve steering feel and suspension performance, further boosts this track-ready set-up.
So too does the addition of bi-material front brake discs of 355mm in diameter. These are each 1.8kg lighter and are claimed to be even more capable of dissipating heat build-up during hard use. They work with Brembo calipers finished in red.