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„Made in France"

The year 2010 brought a lot of changes in my automotive life because I thought it was time to stop playing dumb, riding a motorcycle around the clock on the wheelie back and forth. I sold a motorbike and with cash in my pocket I started looking for a dream car that would be reliable, good for modification, excellent for commuting, going to the sea, to the mountains and in addition it will be cheap to use and nice.., in other words perpetuum mobile. As at that time the 6th generation Honda Civic was making a sensation in our country, equipped with B16A2 VTEC engine, I decided that I will look for such a machine from hell. One day I got in a car with my friend and set off to conquer the former Democratic Republic of Germany (i.e. to the so-called GDR or DDR as you prefer). Searching local used car dealer’s and car showrooms I came across a real gem. I saw a three-door Honda Civic with a mileage less than 100,000 kilometers and the inscription VTEC on the back. Having ants in my pants I was looking forward to the time the car showroom would open. Waiting for this immortal moment, my friend and I had visions in which my Honda transformed into a real samurai able to cut every road opponent into pieces. After a short conversation with the salesman, it turned out that my future purchase was a real treasure, which had only one owner, was accident-free and was the best in the world at all. I took Euro and DEM out of my pocket and I borrowed one last polish hundred for fuel from my friend and as a happy new buyer I got on the road home. As soon as I entered the highway I shift down and stepped on the gas but unfortunately nothing happened. A friend simply overtook me with Focus in diesel, unaware that I stepped on the gas. It turned out that I did buy a Civic VTEC, but with the D15Z6 Econo engine, that is 115 horse power version for grandpa, which was suitable for races without petrol and not for real car rallies. To sum up, I bought the worst modification base that was created in the history of Honda. I decided that since I bought it I would not give up and try to do something good about it. I joined a group of wretches like me and together we advised that if we unplug the EGR valve and replace the exhaust, intake, spark plugs, wires, exhaust manifold and brakes, a miracle will happen. All these modifications cost a lot of money and time and as a result maybe ten horsepower came.., only that in theory because none of us checked it on the dynamometer. When I finally went to the city proud and confident in my roaring bolide, I met such a surprise. At one point, while I was waiting for the green light, an old Renault 5 looking like crushed matchbox appeared beside me and behind the wheel sat a food supplier in a cap with the visor turned backwards. We exchanged glances and I already knew that the boy wants me to show him the real power of the Japanese conqueror. I launched the procedure (unfortunately only in my imagination because the Honda Civic from those years did not have any launch control), which consisted in holding the handbrake on while gently pushing the gas and releasing the clutch. I do not know where I read such stupidity, but probably on the internet on a forum run by the same outstanding rally drivers who bought the wrong car. When the green light came on I quickly realized that I was lagging behind, for the length of several cars.., trucks. Of course, I did the same as most street "losers" that is, I turned into the first, random street just to avoid meeting at the nearest lights face to face with my executioner. It turned out that I came across a Renault 5 GT Turbo from the late 1980s. That what spanked me so cruelly was equipped with a 120 HP 1.4 liter engine with a Garrett turbocharger. From that memorable moment I knew that the French could build a dreadfully fast car. Already in the 90s Renault Megane appeared on the streets, which body style positively stood out from its competitors. Unfortunately, Renault suffered from minor or major breakdowns. The nail in the coffin was the second generation Megane produced since 2002, which almost guaranteed its user the adventure with a tow truck in the lead role. The real breakthrough came in 2009 when Renault Megane R.S III generation was presented at the Geneva Motor Show. The car was equipped with a two-liter engine, initially 250, and later 265 horsepower (Trophy version). A limited series Trophy 275 has also been created, but I've never even seen it before. The third generation of R.S was successful, did not break down and it was suitable for amateur trips to the race track. However, the real treat for lovers of hot hatch was built in 2019 and I will tell you about it.

 

Renault Megane RS Trophy
04 November 2019

The new Megane is a stylistic work of art. This little orange box looks like the perfect cast from the mold created by the grandmasters of automotive crafts. The whole body is shapely and filled with sporting accents that emphasize the racing pedigree of this car. I honestly admit that I was the most afraid of the interior of this car, which often resembles a cheap plastic container for transporting people in sports cars. Fortunately, the interior of the R.S Trophy is done at least well. The entire cockpit is made of soft plastic that does not creak and is pleasant to the touch. Recaro bucket seats trimmed with Alcantara are hit just like the sensationally shaped steering wheel finished with leather and Alcantara with a red center point. The whole is complemented by large aluminium blade paddles on the steering wheel, strip made of carbon fiber with the inscription Renault Sport and also not very pretty, rectangular and in addition the plastic al’a Tesla touch monitor on the center console. I just think that the French can do better, and this electronic something in the center reminds me more of the screen in a diesel locomotive used to regulate the temperature in the engine room. Inside you will also find gadgets such as the Bose sound system, aluminum pedal pads, USB sockets, a divided cup holder compartment, cigarette lighter socket, and a really elegant gear stick trimmed with leather. The car service menu, although it is not complicated, I did not like it. I think there should be a knob to operate the functions on the display. Unfortunately, in Megane we only have a touch screen that responds properly to touch but unfortunately during fast driving I just have to concentrate too much on operating the computer than on the road. I like the electronic central display, which is really legible, and has the option of changing the appearance, including the colors. From the main menu we can control the navigation and telephone functions, as well as manage multimedia and enter the vehicle settings. In the car settings we have the ability to configure driving modes, driver assistance systems and we can check the tire pressure, view the information displayed by the on-board computer and what is the absolute curiosum to check the air quality. We also have a parking assistant and a reversing camera with the obstacle detection function. A very useful function in this car is the blind spot assistant in the mirrors. Renault has not forgotten about the romantic mood inside so supporters of all kinds of ambient lighting will surely find something for themselves. When you get behind the wheel of Renault Megane for the first time, remember that the control panel of the radio is located on the right next to the steering wheel under the wiper switch.

 

"An Orange"

Underneath this pretty orange skin is technology straight from the race track. My Renault resembles a fully armed fighter plane in terms of various strange mechanical solutions. The manufacturer focused on the pleasure of driving.., sports driving. A turbocharged 1.8-liter engine with 300 horsepower was installed under the hood. The whole game between the power unit and the six-speed automatic transmission EDC is managed by a computer with the R.S monitor system, thanks to which we can analyze the most important driving parameters in real time. The front axle (drive axle) has a self-locking Torsen differential, which in combination with the 4control system (torsional rear axle) minimizes understeer and oversteer and provides excellent traction when cornering very tightly. The torsional rear axle system works in two stages: At low speeds, the system turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front wheels. At speeds above 60 km/h in comfort and neutral modes and above 100 km/h in Race mode, all four wheels turn in the same direction. So much in theory, and what does reality look like? In my opinion, this car is „totally insane” and that is about it. It's been a long time since I was behind the wheel of a front-wheel drive. The suspension in this car is tuned very sportily so that the car does not drive confidently on holes in roads. Wishing to express it as vividly as possibile how the "hinge" works in R.S Trophy I will ask a few questions to which I will answer myself, so;

  • is it possible to drive a section of road full of holes with this car? YES

  • is it safe? NO

  • is it better in Comfort or Neutral mode? A LITTLE BIT

  • will the seals on the holes fall out in Race mode? IT IS POSSIBLE

  • does driving R.S Trophy on an even, winding asphalt road give pleasure? YES, THE GREATEST IN THE WORLD!

The position behind the wheel of this car is almost perfect, thanks to bucket seats. The visibility from the cab is great, so I'm ready. The start button (which probably still remembers Laguna's debut from 2000) and pleasant snoring from the exhaust system reaches my ears. In Comfort and Neutral mode the car has its claws hidden and it's really hard to get the impression that it's a little monster. The gearbox runs smoothly, the exhaust can be heard, but it is not tiring. First bend and I immediately noticed the steering system, which is very sensitive. Actually, the slight movement of the steering wheel causes the car to immediately enter a corner. A good moment I was wondering whether to play with this car in Race mode.., and fortunately that I gave up this idea. In the driving modes menu I found a curiosity called Perso. This is nothing more than the possibility of individual configuration of the driving mode, which in Megane R.S Trophy is very extended. Without hesitation, I configured it like this: The Dynamic driving system - RACE, drive system - RACE, a gas pedal sensitivity - RACE, the exhaust sound - RACE, ESP – NEUTRAL (and fear to be afraid of what SPORT means). Immediately the car changed beyond recognition. The cannonade could be heard from the exhaust with every gear change, and the gearbox was dragging gears indefinitely in order to shoot the next gear in the upper rotational range quickly and precisely. The first corner without even thinking about releasing the gas, I went happy and smiling, until I felt that the back of the car slightly goes aside. The Traction control ”doesn’t give a damn” so I learned from experience that gas could not be released in such a situation. Sperre Torsen does the job. At the exit of the arch, I added gas and the car got out of trouble, running like a bullet ahead. An oversteer 300-horsepower front wheel drive means great fun. I went to the runway of an old abandoned airport and taking the opportunity I decided to check how much I can afford in a turn. The term of Neutral in relation to traction control is very accurate, because it responded with an extreme delay. A slight subtraction of the gas during a sharp turn causes the rear axle to fall into a slight slip, which can be easily controlled, because all you need is light counter and re-adding gas and the car returns to the correct path. For a skilled driver, driving a roundabout in the drift will not be a problem here. Just a phenomenal car.., but where is the traction control? And how do I know... Renault has prepared something for fans of quarters (1/4 mile race). I was able to turn on and use Launch Control, and it is done like this: We put on Drive, turn on the RACE mode, press the brake with the left foot until it stops and hold the two paddles on the steering wheel at once. After the appearance of three green lights on the central display, press the gas until the end and release the brake, holding the gas all the time. After a short moment of wheel spinning, the car moves forward sharply and the fun goes on and on.., and on.

My dear readers, would I buy Renault Megane R.S Trophy? This car is phenomenal and I must admit that my heart beat faster behind its wheel. There were emotions, adventure, some uncertainty and fear, and a lot of smile on my face long after returning home. I think this car has a sporty, even a bit rally pedigree, therefore it is not suitable for a birthday gift for a teenager. Can it therefore be used as a car for everyday use? Well, maybe, but is the right place for this car a traffic jam? Or rather a racetrack on a sunny Sunday? Then answer this question for yourself ... In my test, the car burned less than 14 liters of fuel, but I just had fun with it. If you drive quietly then the proverbial „ten” is enough for you. The price of this orange phenomenon starts from EUR 35,000 .., Is this car worth the money? Definitely yes! Certainly YES. At the end I thank Renault Group Polmotor Szczecin for making this car available! Respect gentlemen.

 

Artur Rojewski

"Avoid the holes, forests, pits"

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Attention! This site is for information purposes only, does not promote any driving style and is not of a training nature. All cars covered by the descriptions and photos posted on this site are used in accordance with traffic regulations and with the highest security measures in order not to cause any damage to road users. The author of the blog is not responsible for other road users who in a manner inconsistent with traffic regulations or with the exposure to the health and life of others, will use vehicles on public roads and outside them.