We first saw it in the summer, we drove it in November and now, the Renault Megane RS Trophy has gone on sale, priced from £31,810. That, those of you with encyclopedic knowledge of the new car market will have noted, leaves it £4,315 pricier than the regular Dieppe-tuned RS and, more significantly, £285 above the Honda Civic Type R. But when you consider the extra kit included in this most potent version of the RS Meg, it looks like pretty good value for money.
Tick the option boxes for 19-inch wheels, the Cup chassis and bi-material brakes on a non-Trophy and you'd have already added £3,350 to the list price, but the Trophy brings bespoke extras such as a faster spooling turbo and an accompanying extra 20hp from the 1.8-litre four-cylinder, plus there's a new exhaust with valves and Recaro seats inside. Oh, and you get Trophy badges. Yet it's the way the changes combine to enhance how the car drives that helps explain the premium.
Of course, that starting price is for the manual car, with the EDC automatic gearbox costing from £33,510, which extends the gap a little further - to £5,530 more than a normal EDC RS - presumably thanks to it being further developed to offer quicker shift times. With EDC, the Trophy ranks as Renault Sport's most potent series model yet; it has 310lb ft of torque, 15lb ft more than the manual version, which can't take the extra grunt.
Interestingly, the claimed 0-62mph times of the manual and auto are an identical 5.7 seconds, a tenth better than the standard RS Megane in either guise. As we found out on our drive, however, the engine and gearbox improvements provided to the Trophy are more appreciated once rolling, where the powertrain feels properly responsive and the gearbox a far, far cry from the sluggish unit we first met in early versions of the Clio 200 Turbo.