Renault Megane RS Trophy quick facts

Renault Megane RS Trophy

  • Limited edition model based on Renault Megane RS 250
  • Was introduced in summer 2011 and was sold in 10 European countries, Finland was not one them
  • Max power 265 PS, 0-100 km/h 6.0 sec, top speed 254 km/h
  • Did a track record for the front wheel drive production cars on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, time 8:08 min. Besides leaving all the front wheel drive cars behind also the following cars have been slower than Trophy on the Nordschleife: Audi RS6 Avant '08, Mercedes E63 AMG '09, BMW M5 '05, Porsche Boxster S '09, Audi RS3 '10, BMW 1 M Coupe '11 etc.
  • More info on the Trophy can be found in section Megane RS Trophy info


My Megane RS Trophy


You can find some stories related to my Megane RS Trophy in the following sections:
- Experiences -
- Idea -
- Importing the car -
- Pictures -

Experiences

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Experiences: 15 March 2015

Year 3 - 26,600 km

I had owned my Megane for three years in March 2015. At that stage the car had 26,600 km on the clock i.e. I had driven approx. 9 thousand kilometres per year. In Finland the car has to go through its first MOT after three years and I took care of the MOT in February 2015. Before that an annual oil change was done to the car at the local garage. At the same time the electrical engine heater resistance was replaced under warranty for the second time already.

Only other problem besides that during the last year has been that one of the front parking sensors which had already has been re-attached became loose again. The fault was minor but it took local Renault garage four months and two waisted trips to the garage to fix the problem. Very shoddy work from the local dealer.

Megane RS Trophy

The parking sensor which got loose it the one on the right side (looking from front) under the bumber.
Those two problems were however very minor compared to the fact that I'm still very much enjoying the Megane RS and I've been very happy with the car. Usually I change cars every three years but this time I have no idea on what car could replace the Trophy. However I'm still planning on putting the car for sale in Spring 2015 to see if somebody wants to buy it. If I manage to get the car sold then I will have to figure out a replacement for it. If I don't find a buyer then I will happily keep on motoring with the Megane.
 


Experiances: 29 May 2014

Year 2 - 18,000 km

After the sencond year with the Megane ended the car had 18,000 km on the clock which meant that during the second year I had driven 7,400 km with it. The Trophy has continued work as my daily drive all-year round. My wife's car is being used for the family drive's. I still have enjoyed the Trophy during the second year and driving and owning it makes me happy. I have had a chance to do some memorable drives on the winding roads nearby my home.


There were some problems with the occasional triggering of the circuit breaker at home when using the electrical engine heater during winter 2013/2014. That was diagnosed being caused by the heater resistance which had short circuited. The heater resistance was replaced under warranty and hasn't caused any problems since.

Just before year two ended it was time to take the Trophy to it's first service. I ended up taking the car to the local authorized Renault workshop. The main reason for this was that I wanted an authorized workshop to look at why the coolant levels were dropping so they could make necessary repairs under warranty.

The local workshop Autosalpa Lahti didn't perform the job very well in my opinion since they didn't find anything wrong in relation to the coolant levels and therefore they didn't do any repairs related to that. Two small warranty repairs was however done on my request. The first being replacing a rubber stopper on the boot lid which had vanished at some point and the second one being the re-attachment of one of the parking sensors on the front bumber which had been loose since new. The total cost of the service was 350 euros.

 
Megane RS 265 Trophy
Megane RS 265 Trophy at the Vesijärvi harbour in Lahti.

 


Experiences: 30 June 2013

Year 1 - 10,600 km

The first year with the Megane was complete at mid-March 2013. During that first year I drove 10,600 km with the car of which approx. six thousand km with the summer tyres and 4.5 thousand km with the winter tyres.

In general the my previous comments related to first experiences with the car are still valid after the first year. I'm still very satisfied with the RS Trophy after a longer period with the car. Since now I have more winter related experiences on the car here are some comments related to that.

Driving in the winter
:

The Megane is good to drive in the winter conditions also. It is stable and predictable to drive in sleet/snow/ice. Naturally you have to be careful in adjusting the throttle in slippery conditions on powerful car like the Megane RS Trophy but that is the case with other powerful cars in winter also. The stability control is not too restrictive and once it cuts in that doesn't happen too suddenly. The studded winter tyres are quite wide (225/40/18) and they cause some unstability on longitudinal grooves on the ice/snow but not so much that it would be too disturbing. The ground clearance on the RS Trophy is adequate in the winter in normal use even though the suspension is slightly lower on the RS Trophy than on the regular Megane RS due to the Cup-suspension.
 

Megane RS 265 Trophy
Megane RS 265 Trophy near my home at the end of the winter with almost all of the snow melted from the ground.


Other winter related comments:

Megane seems to warm up quite well in the cold temperatures. It doesn't warm up as quickly as my previous Alfa 147 GTA though but that is probably due to the fact that the Alfa had a 3.2 l V6 engine with plenty of heat to waste. Once the Megane warms up it does stay quite warm inside on cold weather. Last winter was not very harsh around here in southern Finland and the coldest outside temperature when I drove the Megane was -29C. At these conditions there were no problems with the car.

The car has been started at home mostly after pre-heating the engine and the interior with the electrical engine heater and the car has started faultlessly after few hiccups at the start of the winter. There has also been no problems starting the car when the additional engine heater has not been in use.

The average fuel consumption has been approx. 10 litre per 100 km on mixed driving.

Megane RS 265 Trophy 
Megane plugged in for the use of the electrical engine heater at home.


Faults/problems:

First year has been almost problem-free and there hasn't been any need to take the car into the garage for repairs. The coolant level has however diminished during the winter and I've had to add some coolant couple of times. Due to this I might have to test how the warranty work will be carried out in the local Renault dealership. As a normal service procedure I've had the oil and oil filter changed to the car after 11 thousand kilometres in April 2013.



Experiences: 2 December 2012

Equipping the Megane for the winter

In autumn it was time to start equipping the Megane for the Finnish winter conditions. List of things to do included buying a set of winter wheels and tyres and an electrical engine heater.

Megane RS Trophy in winter
Megane RS Trophy in its winter guise close to home.

Winter wheels:

Getting a set of winter wheels turned out to be the most challenging part of getting the car ready for winter. Main reason for this was the fact that the original wheel size of the Megane RS limits the wheel options quite a lot. The original wheels in the RS Trophy are 19" wheels and the big front brakes mean that the 18" is the smallest possible size for the car. The high ET (65) of the original wheels was the biggest limiting factor in relation to possible 18" wheels that would fit the car. The CoC certificate of the car stated that the ET should fall between ET49 and ET65. The size of the original RS 250 wheels is:

Wheel size: 8.25*18" ET65 (Trophy 8.25*19" ET65)
BCD: 5*114.3 mm
Center bore: 66.1 mm

In the beginning I wanted to get a set of wheels which would be simple in desing and easy to keep clean in winter conditions. Therefore a set of 5- or 6-spoke wheels was something I had in mind.

Oz Racing had two different wheels available for the Megane RS. First one was Oz Alleggerita in size 8.5*18" ET55 and the other was Oz Ultraleggera in size 8*18" ET48 although the Ultraleggera was not offically approved for the RS. The Oz wheels are quality items and they are also light and stylish. If I would've been looking for summer wheels I might have bought the Oz wheels but for the winter I thought that they were a bit pricey.

Oz Alleggerita
Oz Alleggerita.

Other possible manufacturers included Team Dynamics which would've manufactured two of their wheels in special sizes for the Megane RS. The first one was multispoke Equinox in size 8*18" ET50 and the other one also multispoke Pro Race 1.3 in size 8.5*18" ET50. Team Dynamics wheels were also quite reasonably priced.

Team Dynamics Equinox
Team Dynamics Equinox.

In the end I chose Rial Lugano wheels which are also known as Wolfrace Lugano's in the UK. Lugano's had an official approval for the Megane RS in size 8*18" ET50. I asked for an offer for those wheels from two places in Finland but since their prices were around 1,000 eur for a set of four wheels I ended up buying the wheels from Germany where the prices were quite a lot cheaper. I bought my wheels from www.winterrad.com and the price for four wheels including delivery to Finland was approx. 750 eur.

Rial Lugano Megane RS
Rial Lugano wheels in my Megane RS.
Rial Lugano Megane RS
Rial Lugano and my Megane RS in the winter.

Winter tyres:

Getting a set of winter tyres was much easier than getting the winter wheels. I wanted to have studded tyres from a well known manufacturer but not necessarily the latest model. I ended up buying Continental Winter Viking 2 studded tyres in size 225/50/18". Also the size 235/40/18" would've been possible but I wanted narrower tyres for the winter since they tend to be more stable in snow.

The wheels and tyres arrived in the beginning of October and I got them in the car at the end of October just in time for the first snow.

Conti Winter Viking 2 Megane RS 
Conti Winter VIking 2 studded tyres and Rial Lugano wheels.

Electrical engine heater:

Almost all the cars in Finland have some kind of an additional engine heater and I had one installed to the Megane also. My electrical engine heater is from a Swedish brand Calix and I've also had a wiring for the additional interior heater installed for my car.

Interior heater for the Megane
Interior heater attached to the centre console of my
Megane.

Other observations:

At the time of writing in the beginning of December 2012 there has not been properly cold weather since the lowest temperature so far has been minus 11C. Therefore I don't have thorough winter experiences in the Megane yet. However based on the experiences so far the car seems to warm up fast enough and it feels quite stable to drive in the snow. I will get back to the winter experiences later on once I have more time with the Megane in proper winter conditions.

Problems? The electrical engine heater seems to confuse the ECU sometimes since a few times after 45 min heating in temperatures just below zero degrees celcius the car starts but the engine shuts down immediately. This can problem be avoided by turning the engine heater off five minutes before starting the car. With longer heating times and in colder temperatures I haven't encountered the same problem so far.

In all other respects the progress has been problem free and enjoyable.

Megane RS in winter
Hey hou to the snow!.



Experiences: 16 July 2012

First experiences after 3 months/3,500 km

After the first three months and 3,500 km it is time to summarize the experiences so far.

Megane RS Trophy in Lahti
The Megane RS Trophy in front of the ski jumping towers in Lahti.


Driving characteristics:

The driving characteristics of the Megane RS are excellent.

The foreign media has complimented different RenaultSport models (incl. Megane III RS) of their good driving characteristics so initially I had high expectations of how good the Megane would be to drive. After my first test drives on the RS it seemed like the hype was justified and after three months I can still say the the Megane feels very good to drive.

If I would use one word to describe how the Megane RS feels to drive the word would be balanced. The steering is precise and neutral and even though the car has front-wheel-drive and 265 horsepower combined with 235/35/19" tyres there is surprisingly little torque-steer. One important factor in this might be the mechanical limited slip differential which comes with the Cup-package which is standard on the RS Trophy version. You can provoke torque steer if you like for example by pressing the gas pedal hard during overtaking in groovy Finnish roads but overall the torque steer is well in control in the RS with Cup-package.

Megane RS Trophy wheels
The 19" Megane RS Trophy wheels and the Brembo brakes.

Even though the car is good to drive it doesn't feel overly harsh on normal day-to-day driving. In my opinion RenaultSport has managed to find a good balance between driving characteristics and comfort. Even the 19 inch 35-series tyres on the Trophy can't manage to ruin the ride although the 18" wheels on the regular Megane RS would probably be a better choice in terms of comfort.

I have to mention one more thing in relation to the driving characteristics. Namely the brakes. The brakes in the Megane RS are better than in almost any other car I've driven. The brakes are made by Brembo and the diameter of the front discs is 340 mm. The brakes have superb feel and plenty of power. I haven't tried the brakes on track but according to the reports from other Megane RS owners they are good enough for the track use also.

Performance:

The performance of the RS is not as good as the driveability. The main reason for the is the relatively weak low-end torque which means that it feels like the car doesn't accelerate very well below 2,500 rpm. The weight is an issue on most modern cars and since also the Megane RS weighs about 1,400 kg it means that there has to be plenty of power to get the car moving.

The fact that the car is over-weight doesn't necessarily have to mean that the acceleration on low rpm is bad. I used to own an Alfa 147 GTA with quite similar power and weight to the Megane RS and it felt like the GTA accelerated much more rapidly if you pressed the pedal to the metal in sixth gear on 80 km/h. It even feels like my wife's Focus with 150 horsepower accelerates better on low rpm than the Megane although I have to say that the Focus has exceptionally good low end torque for a regular family car and it has max torque available from 1,600 rpm.

Well the Megane RS does have a lot of power on the upper end and all the horses seem to be where they should be. It is very easy and quick to overtake other cars in the car if you select fourth gear while overtaking in the Finnish road speeds. The max torque on the RS Trophy is 360 Nm (3,000-5,000 rpm).

The sounds of the the four-cylinder engine in the Megane are pretty lame especially compared to the lovely sounds of the Alfa 147 GTA six-cylinder engine.

Fuel consumption:

I thing that the car does consume some fuel. At least all the fuel that I have put on the tank has always been consumed. According to the trip computer the average fuel consumption on mixed driving has been around 10 litres per 100 km. On smooth highway driving the fuel consumption has been approx. 8 l/100 km. It seems like the fuel consumption per 100 km on the Megane is about 2 litres lower than on the 147 GTA and two litres higher than on my previous Abarth 500 esseesse.

The trip computer has been extraordinary since both times when I've calculated the actual consumption after fill-up the trip computer has shown higher fuel consumption per 100 km by about 0.3-0.4 litres than the actual consumption.

The looks:

The looks of the cars are subjective matters of course but in my opinion the Megane RS looks reasonably good. The front/front-side and the rear/rear-side views are the best in my opinion but looking directly from the side the profile of the car is a bit heavy.

Megane RS Trophy rear
The Megane RS Trophy from the rear.

The Megane RS in grey colour doesn't draw much attention from other people and my previous Abarth 500 was much bigger attention grabber even though it also had grey colour. The attention the Abarth drew was also almost always positive.

Interior/space:

My three previous cars have been Italian and I have to say that the interior of the Megane is much duller than in my Italian cars. The design and materials on the dashboard are much less stylish than on my Abarth or the Alfa. Other aspects of the interior on the Megane also feel cheaper and boring with the exception of the seats.

Megane RS dashboard
The dashboard of the Megane RS.

The Recaro seats on the car are top notch. Recaro's are standard on the Trophy version and they can be selected as an option on the regular Megane RS model. These seats offer very good support both in enthusiastic driving and in longer distance cruising. Excellent.

Megane RS Recaro seats
The Recaro seats offer good support.

The space in front is adequate even for a tall bloke like myself (191 cm). There is a rear seat on the car but it feels pretty claustrophobic on the rear since the rear and side windows are tiny. The headroom in the back is not very good but otherwise the space in the rear is adequate. The size of the trunk is good enough but the stuff you put on the trunk has to be lifted quite high and there are no luggage hooks in the trunk.

The rear visibility is poor due to the small rear window and therefore the rear parking sensors have turned out to be useful.

Faults/problems:

So far there have no faults on the car unless the occasional squeaking of the brakes during light braking should be considered as a fault.

One irksome problem did occur while I was driving up north at the beginning of June. While driving I suddenly heard a banging sound from the left but I couldn't see anything on the road. After I stopped to see what the problem was I noticed two quite deep scratches on the driver door. Possibly something flew to the door from other car?

The scratches were fixed on the local repair shop by applying some paint to the scratches but they are still visible if you know where to look.

Door scratches
The door scratches after the repair.

Other observations:

The Arkamys audio on the car is unbelievably difficult to use. I wouldn't have thought that devices like that would still be available today. The device is difficult to use both from the front panel and also from the remote on the steering column. I never thought I would say this but the Italian car designers are masters in ergonomics compared to the person who designed the Arkamys device. The sound quality on the Arkamys is not very good either.

Arkamys audio
The front panel of the Arkamys Audio. The ergonomics on the device is terrible.

Summary:

I'm very happy with the car. It's been a pleasure to drive and only setback so far has been the scratches on the front door. Now all I have to do is keep driving and enjoying the car. I will report more later after I have had more time with the car.