You don’t need to buy a supercar with 500hp to express a liking for automotive thrills these days. There are plenty of great sub-£25k hot hatches out there capable of doing that – see our latest video for evidence – but arguably the maddest of them all in this sub-supercar bracket comes from Renault. Or rather, the company’s performance arm, Renault Sport. The car you see here, a standout new arrival in cinch’s all-online showroom, is the unashamedly exuberant Megane Trophy-R. Just look at that colour scheme.
If you’re unfamiliar with this machine, essentially, it’s Renault’s most ambitious example of Top Trumpery. Everything in the Trophy-R, which is based on the humble Megane hatchback, has been turned up to eleven. The 300hp engine, shared with the normal Renault Sport version, drives through a six-speed manual gearbox and a limited-slip differential, a clever piece of hardware that binds the driven wheels to the tarmac below. The wheels are wrapped in tyres that feel like bubblegum. Grip is comparable with exotic cars produced by the likes of Ferrari and Porsche.
Then there’s the suspension. It has more in common with Ash Sutton’s cinch-sponsored British Touring Car Championship racer than the underlying Megane. The Trophy-R feels more like Mr Sutton’s machine as a result, and that trait is hammered home by the extensively lightened hardware of this red and white machine. Those bucket seats feel properly sporting, and while this particular car keeps its back seats for added usability (Renault also did a two-seater version!), there’s no mistaking this car’s purpose. Honestly, from experience, we can confirm this car drives nothing like your auntie Doris’s Renault. Or anything else with numberplates, for that matter.
At cinch, we’re proud to have this car in our digital showroom not just because of its performance credentials and outright thrills, but also because these Trophy-Rs are terrifically rare cars. Renault Sport only made 500 of them for the world, and only 32 of them were built in right-hand drive UK specification. This isn’t just an example of automotive excitement, then, but also an enormously special take on the fun French car formula. Yet here it is on cinch, available without faff and only 2,469 miles on the clock for £44,450 – more than six grand less than it would have originally sold for. Few things as unique as this come at such good value.