The hardcore Renault Megane RS275 Trophy-R is set to become the fastest commercially available production vehicle to lap Melbourne's Albert Park Formula One circuit.
The lightweight, two-seat Renault Megane RS275 Trophy-R will be let loose onto the full Australian Grand Prix circuit to set the first-ever production car lap record of the 5.3-kilometre racetrack ahead of this month's 2015 Formula One season opener.
“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to set the first-ever production car lap record of the Albert Park circuit,” the 20-year-old Russian said.
“It will be a great opportunity to get some track time ahead of the Grand Prix…”
Claiming that a commercially available production vehicle under or up to 2.0 litres has never set a timed lap of the Albert Park Grand Prix circuit, Renault's local managing director Justin Hocevar is excited by the opportunity.
“Our Renault Sport brand is renowned for its dominance on race tracks around the globe and we’re confident that we’ll set a cracking time for this new lap record," Hocevar said.
Priced from $61,990 and limited to 50 examples within Australia – 250 cars globally – the 201kW/360Nm turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder Megane RS275 Trophy-R already holds the front-wheel-drive production car lap record around Germany’s Nurburgring and Japan's Suzuka circuit.
Based on the $52,990 Megane RS275, the Trophy-R comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, Cup chassis, mechanical limited-slip front differential, titanium Akrapovic exhaust system, adjustable Ohlins dampers and 19-inch model-specific Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.
Though the vehicle tasked with setting the lap time is owned by Renault Australia (rather than a private buyer), and has no radio or air conditioning in a bid to save weight, young Kvyat will have his work out out for him to match or break the outright lap record – a 1:24.125 set by Michael Schumacher in his Ferrari F1 car back in 2004.
The 2015 F1 Australian Grand Prix is on in Melbourne between March 12-15, with Australia’s own Daniel Ricciardo leading the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team for the first time, following former teammate Sebastian Vettel’s switch to Ferrari.