June 17, 2011
Renault Sport pulverizes Nürburgring FWD record: 8:07! (video)
Last week we anticipated Renault planned to set a new front wheel drive record at the Nürburgring. It was a record, 8minutes and 16 seconds, they previously held with the super track focused Megane R26.R.
We mentioned a time of 8:09 which raised quite a bit of eyebrows. This morning I woke to an email from France: the new Megane 3 RS Trophy, lapped the Nordschleife in 8:07,9!
8:07, that is simply insane. That's real close to M3 territory (8:05) and quite a bit quicker than a hot car like the 1M (8:15).
The Megane looks like it needs a hefty amount of lock in the turns but it's so smooth, it's almost hard to tell how fast it's going, until the driver has a bit of oversteer after Wipperman.
UPDATE: The Press release just landed, read it after the jump
8’08’’: another record1 for Renault sport at the Nürburgring Nordschleife with Megane R.S. Trophy
June 17, 2011 | ID: 28852
A time of 8’08”” has seen Mégane R.S. Trophy – the new limited edition version of Mégane Renault Sport – establish a new benchmark time for a production-specification front-wheel drive car at the Nürburgring’s infamous Nordschleife. This performance beats the attempts of several far more powerful, rear-wheel drive cars.
Renault Sport -the sport brand of Renault- shows one more time what Renault know-how and enthusiasm mean. Today’s achievement provides further evidence of the technological excellence that goes into the design of Renault models and of how motorsport-proven technical solutions are carried over to production cars, the chief beneficiaries being the brand’s customers.
An exploit that has ‘shortened’ the Nordschleife…
Renault Sport established its first lap record for a front-wheel drive production car at the Nordschleife on June 23, 2008. The time of 8m17s posted that day by Mégane R26.R. demonstrated that a showroom-specification front-wheel drive car could beat many models produced by some elite specialist brands and tuners. On June 17, 2011, it was the turn of Mégane R.S. Trophy – a new limited-edition version of Mégane R.S. – to beat the time by 9 seconds, a lap record that has stood for three years in the firm grasp of its predecessor.
Today’s lap time is the fruit of an increase in power output to 265hp, along with careful set-up work and a tyre choice optimised by Renault Sport engineers. This limited edition version reveals the exceptional performance potential of Mégane R.S.
The latest achievement speaks volumes for Renault’s ability to dial the expertise and experience it has forged in motorsport – including Formula 1 – into its production cars. Indeed, Mégane R.S. Trophy has benefited directly from all the domains in which Renault Sport excels, from design quality and exacting reliability, to painstakingly tuned engines, chassis and brakes.
Supercar performance… for a much wider audience of enthusiasts
The time posted at the Nürburgring puts Mégane R.S. on a par with an extremely prestigious list of supercars. Mégane R.S Trophy provides access to a level of performance which rivals that of exclusive cars with power outputs of up to and beyond 500hp.
Laurent Hurgon (development driver, Renault Sport):
“The Nordschleife is a legendary course. Its length and layout, which is very different to that of a conventional circuit, make it a unique and technically demanding challenge. Its difficulties are extremely varied, ranging from fast and even very fast in places to much twistier and slower portions. Turns like ‘Karusell’ and ‘Pflanzgarten’, for example, make huge demands of the car and driver alike, yet Mégane R.S. Trophy is very much in its element here and feels particularly reassuring despite the uncompromising nature of the terrain. The limited slip differential allowed me to accelerate hard out of the countless turns without understeer. The carefully-tuned Cup chassis, the dampers, the fade-resistant brakes, the Recaro seats, the power of the 195kW engine, the ready availability of torque between 2,500 and 5,000rpm and the car’s Bridgestone RE 050A (235/35 R19) tyres allowed me to make the most of the car’s enormous potential, especially into and out of the corners. It is this package which enabled me to post such a quick time round this circuit which you must always approach with a certain degree of humility.”
RENAULT MÉGANE R.S. AND MOTORSPORT
Mégane is very active in both rallying and circuit racing. Designed for rallying, Mégane R.S. N4 stands out at once through its looks. Widely acclaimed for the quality of its chassis and engine, it is an ideal choice for privateer teams and drivers. Developed for tarmac competition, Mégane R.S. N4 is emerging as a new benchmark on sealed-surface events.
On track, Mégane Trophy V6 takes the lines of the production version a step further to combine carefully-honed aerodynamics and a remarkably elegant stance. It sets new standards in the world of ‘high performance’ racing saloons. Designed and engineered solely for motorsport, this prototype delivers 360hp while tipping the scales at 980kg. It has become emblematic of the World Series by Renault and delivers unrivalled performance/driving pleasure package for its price and class.
Bridgestone RE050A: the record-beating tyre
The Bridgestone RE050A’s rigid construction features two Rayon plies which transmit the forces generated by the contact patch to ensure responsive performance and impeccable stability.
The tread’s ‘soft’ high-grip compound was conceived for high-performance sporting cars and is capable of withstanding extremely high lateral and longitudinal forces.
The Potenza RE050A’s asymmetric tread pattern takes its inspiration from the tyres developed by Bridgestone for Formula 1 which demands exceptional performance in both wet and dry conditions.
The pattern of the outer sides of the tread is derived from that employed in F1. Its extremely rigid properties deliver enhanced response and optimal handling. The rigid tread blocks favour outstanding road holding which is particularly appreciable when cornering.
The central, semi-slick circumferential band optimises the potential of Mégane R.S. Trophy’s chassis, combining instant response from the front tyres and good rear-end directional control to facilitate entry into corners.
The central part of the tread takes its inspiration from the Potenza F1 rain tyre. Its carefully designed tread blocks clear water more quickly and more efficiently towards the main grooves to provide even greater grip in wet conditions and push back the aquaplaning threshold.
In addition to its sporting potential, the Potenza RE050A delivers a high standard of ride comfort and also packs Bridgestone-developed noise-reduction technology in accordance with the philosophy behind Mégane R.S. Trophy.