After conquering the Nurburgring and Spa-Francorchamps, the Renault Megane RS Trophy-R has now set a new front-wheel drive (FWD) record time at the Suzuka circuit in Japan. The French hot hatch – with Laurent Hurgon at the wheel – managed to clock a time of 2:25.454, which is three seconds faster than the time set by the previous-generation Megane 275 RS Trophy-R.

“The new Megane RS Trophy-R has set a new record in its category, this time at Suzuka, the leading circuit in Japan. This performance is particularly meaningful for the 10,000 strong local community of Renault Sport and Trophy-R fans,” said Patrice RATTI, general manager at Renault Sport Cars.

“It demonstrates the effectiveness of the specific testing campaign we conducted on site to best meet their expectations. This is enough to further strengthen the relationship with our very international customer base,” he added.

The Megane RS Trophy-R retains the RS Trophy’s 1.8 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 300 PS and 420 Nm of torque (this is with the six-speed EDC dual-clutch automatic, the six-speed manual gets 400 Nm instead), which is more than the regular Megane RS‘ 279 PS and 390 Nm.

While the power output is the same, the Trophy-R is a significantly lighter car, with up to 130 kg being trimmed away for a total of 1,306 kg. Weight-saving initiatives include a carbon-fibreglass composite bonnet, a carbon-fibre rear diffuser, optional carbon wheels and carbon ceramic brakes, a lighter air intake system, an Akrapovic titanium exhaust system, no rear seats, a smaller R-Link unit, and lightweight Sabelt bucket seats.

Reworked aerodynamics are also part of the package, with features such as a NACA duct on the bonnet, a lower bumper blade, and an optional dynamic air intake on the left side that replaces the RS Vision lights in the lower apron.

The company also touts a more radical development of its drive axles, with a model-specific Torsen limited-slip differential and Ohlins two-way adjustable dampers. There’s also increased negative camber at the front compared to a regular Trophy, and this is replicated at the rear with increased toe-in.

The Trophy-R is priced from 55,000 euros (RM252,630), and only 500 numbered examples will be offered to customers. The hot hatch has been rather busy setting records in various race tracks around the world, as aside from the Nurburgring, Spa-Francorchamps and now, Suzuka, the model also set a time of 2:14.316 at the Long Bend Motorsport Park.