There’s a new front-wheel-drive (FWD) king at the Nürburgring and it isn’t an unfamiliar nameplate—at least, in relation to the notorious track. Renault was able to reclaim the throne as the dominating FWD hatchback since the Mégane’s first record in 2008. That’s right, the Mégane is not a new name at the Nürburgring.
Apparently, the “love affair” between the “Ring” (Nürburgring) and the Mégane nameplate has been around for more than 10 years now. The first record, which was in 2008, was charted by the Mégane R.S. R26.R with a lap time record of 8’17”. The second record was done by the second-generation model’s driver-builder Laurent Hurgon aboard the R.S. Trophy version where he clocked in 8’07”97.
Then, after another three years, the Trophy-R version of the Mégane III R.S. was able to speed beyond the eight-minute mark with a lap time of 7’54”36. On April 5, 2019, Laurent Hurgon has done an impressive lap time, once again, and was able to surpass the Honda Civic Type R’s record. Hurgon set 7’40”1 on the clock for the 20.600 km, axing the Japanese contender by a 3.7-second time difference. The official lap length of the Nordschleife 20.832 km was covered in 7’45”389.
Well, step aside Type R, there’s a new bad boy in town now.
If you think about it, it could mean that the French performance hatchback revolves around the idea of conquering the Nürburgring ever since, and it religiously vows to make it hard for its FWD rivals. We’re quite sure that it taunted its contenders effectively. Now, we wonder: for how long will it be until a nameplate capable enough steals it? And, which car could it be?
Well, some facts that are important for its rivals to know is that the R.S. Trophy-R does not owe its performance to pure power. It is a developed performance version of the R.S. Trophy that was introduced earlier this year. What makes it able to rip it at the Ring was due to its maximum weight reduction of up to 130 kg compared to the regular one, as well as reworked aerodynamics and improved axles – which were all done by a small dedicated team.