Front-wheel drive French hot hatch beats the Civic Type R around Belgian circuit, adding to its earlier triumph at the 'Ring.
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The Renault Megane RS Trophy-R has added another accolade to its portfolio, setting a new front-drive lap record at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.

With a time of 2 minutes 48.338 seconds, the hardcore Megane was "more than five seconds better" than the previous record set by the Honda Civic Type R a year ago.

Piloting the French hot hatch was company test driver Laurent Hurgon (top), who has set multiple lap records in various generations of Renault Sport models, including the Megane RS Trophy-R's benchmark time at the Nurburgring.

"Spa-Francorchamps is one the most exciting circuits in Europe for drivers. It is very fast and complex and the car is perfect for this configuration," Hurgon said.

"I am, once again, really proud and delighted. The work done on the aerodynamic balance takes all its value. The sensations in the Raidillon, Pouhon and Blanchimont corners are really excellent. What a pleasure!"

The 2020 Renault Megane RS Trophy-R is limited to just 500 units globally, featuring a range of weight-saving measures to make it 130kg lighter than the 'standard' Megane RS Trophy.

Adding to the lighter weight is a more aggressive aero package, comprising of a redesigned undertray and new rear splitter that together increase downforce, while the more focused suspension package scores more negative camber at the front, a bespoke H-pattern rear axle and Ohlins two-way adjustable dampers for even better handling.

Power comes from the same 1.8-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine as the Megane RS Trophy, generating a healthy 224kW and 420Nm sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual and Torsen limited-slip differential.

Just 20 examples of these track specials will be headed to Australia out of the global production run, with a sticker price of "around $70,000" according to Renault Australia – including one Trophy-R Record Edition featuring Aussie-made carbon-fibre wheels (by Carbon Revolution in Geelong) and carbon-ceramic brakes.