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A range-topping Renault Megane

The Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy isn’t just a car. It is an aero-engineered sensory experience.

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This isn't just a car. It is an aero-engineered sensory experience. Nicole Garcia Merida reports.

"Renault Sport has nailed the putting-the-smile-on-your-face aspect of hot-hatch ownership for over a decade," says Ben Barry in Car magazine. The Megane RS 300 Trophy is no exception. The Trophy is the Megane's fourth iteration, but it hasn't just been spruced up, says The Guardian's Martin Love. The hatchback has also become a range-topping car, having undergone a "full-on, hardcore, race-centric treatment".

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The Megane has come a long way from its initial launch as a small family car in 1995. With the Trophy, Renault promises to make the everyday more exhilarating.

"Hatchbacks have got to be comfortable enough for the commute, practical enough for the family and racy enough the race track," says Steve Huntingford for What Car?. "Fortunately, the Megane RS absolutely delivers."

Trophy versions of Renault cars combine performance and accuracy. The choice of a manual or dual-clutch EDC gearbox, as well as natural, sport and race-driving modes, provide just that. The revised 1.8-litre turbo engine increases power to 300 horsepower, so taking it on track is a must, says Huntingford. Indeed, this ride is the one to go for if you're after adrenaline-fuelled fun, says Simon Davis in Autocar. Bi-material brake disks save 1.8 kilogrammes in every corner and combined with a lightweight battery that means that manual versions of the Trophy are 18kg lighter than a standard Megane.

In spite of its lightweight, built for speed chassis, the hot hatch doesn't compromise on comfort. The Trophy comes equipped with suede-lined Recaro seats and a thumping Bose sound system. The car's LED front and rear lights "look like they've been pinched from a nightclub", says Love. The Trophy is the first of its kind to come with safety features such as the hydraulic compression stops and rear wheel steering, says Love, making it easier to stay safe on the road.

The Trophy does it all so much so that calling it a "car" doesn't do it justice. Offering a "multi-layered, aero-engineered, all-encompassing sensory experience", the Trophy feels alive.

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