In January this year, the 2023 Renault Megane RS Ultime made its debut as the final Renaultsport model in history because all future performance cars from the French automaker will wear the Alpine logo. The speedy hatch isn’t going to leave the scene just yet though and has recently achieved a new track record. The Megane RS in Trophy-R trim is now the fastest front-wheel drive model around the Hockenheim GP track.
The folks over at Sport Auto are responsible for the new record time of 1:59.2 minutes. It’s worth pointing out that this isn’t a completely stock example as it features rear seats delete and new wheels for about a 287-pound (130-kilogram) weight reduction. Under the hood is the model’s factory 1.8-liter turbocharged engine, good for 300 horsepower (221 kilowatts) and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters) of torque. The hot hatch rides on Bridgestone Potenza S007 RS and driver Christian Gebhardt is behind the steering wheel.
Gallery: 2021 Renault Megane RS Trophy
There’s a video of the record lap and it’s attached at the top of this page. We can’t help but notice the driver doesn’t respect all the track limits and goes beyond the safety zones on some corners. Interestingly, we also see some very later braking in some sections and the Sport Auto team explains “it looks like a braking error, but in the data analysis it was the faster line.”
As a reminder, the Megane RS also holds the FWD record on the legendary Nurburgring circuit. The hot hatch is also the fastest front-wheel-drive car around the Suzuka track and these records surely tell us how capable and good this vehicle is. Unfortunately, it is going out of production very soon as the limited-edition Megane RS Ultime signaled in January.
According to the latest available information, the Megane RS is expected to be discontinued from the global markets later this year. We can’t tell whether a direct replacement with a combustion engine is coming but given Renault’s push towards full electrification, we highly doubt it is in the cards.