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Renault unveils 275-horsepower hot hatch

by Ronan Glon

Renault wants to re-capture the front-wheel drive Nurburgring record.

Renault's performance-focused RenaultSport division has unveiled the latest evolution of the Mégane RS. Called Mégane RS 275 Trophy, the hot hatch was designed to lap Germany's famed Nürburgring track in less than eight minutes.

As expected, the Mégane RS' turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine generates 275 horsepower at 5,000 rpms and 265 lb-ft. of torque from 3,000 rpms thanks to a host of mechanical and electronic modifications. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential.

The Mégane features an Akrapovič exhaust line with a carbon fiber exhaust tip, and it can be ordered with optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires as well as an adjustable suspension setup designed by Ohlins.

Inside, the Mégane RS 275 Trophy gains Alcantara- and leather-upholstered Recaro bucket seats in addition to red stitching on the dashboard, the shift boot and the steering wheel. Door sills engraved with the car's serial number round out the major interior updates.

Renault says the Mégane RS 275 Trophy will arrive in showrooms on June 3rd as a limited-edition model but it has not announced how many examples it plans on building. In France, the automaker's latest hot hatch will carry a base price of €38,000, a sum that converts to approximately $52,000.

The 275 Trophy is likely the final evolution of the current RS as an all-new Mégane is scheduled to debut later this year.

'Ring Record
Next month, the Mégane RS 275 Trophy will boldly attempt to go around the Nürburgring in less than eight minutes in order to re-capture the track's front-wheel drive record.

The Mégane RS held the front-wheel drive 'Ring record for years with a 8:08 lap time but it was recently beaten by the SEAT Leon Cupra which managed to lap the Green Hell in 7:58. Even if Renault beats SEAT's time, its success might be short-lived because it will have to fend off serious competition from the 300-horsepower Opel Astra OPC Extreme and the upcoming 2015 Honda Civic Type R.

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