From certain angles, the Megane Trophy Concept from Renault has a Nissan Z car-esque look about it. Which is neither a bad thing or merely a coincidence. (Remember “Le Car”) Maybe it’s a French tradition to borrow a bit of DNA from another automaker. If you recall, Peugeot’s RC-Z concept bears an uncanny resemblance to the Audi TT. At any rate, the Megane Trophy has adopted more than just a few of the Z car’s goodlooks. Lurking under the retina burning yellow body is a high-revving V6 that would make any Z car owner think about a trade-in.
The Renault Megane RS, which this concept is derived from, is a popular favorite among those that want a daily driver for basic transportation can also serve double duty among weekend racers at the track. Renault has been running its coupe in World Championship racing since 2005 and has updated its specially-built Megane Trophy racer for the 2009 season. Racing fans are hoping that Renaultsport will at least release aftermarket kit versions of this concept to transform their daily driver into a smoking hot hatchback. The Renault Megane Trophy concept has a Nissan-sourced midmounted 3.5-liter V6 that produces 360 hp and is mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox. This powertrain is covered with what will be to some, an over-the-top competition-grade body that has lots louvers and “vents,” not to mention a wing in the rear that would be too large for the Space Shuttle to successfully pull off. Its front and rear light units and windscreen are those of the production road car, but these ground-effects and aerodynamic enhancements, according to Renault, are developed purely for track use. It also employs butterfly-opening doors and composite body panels. Other race options include a tubular chassis, steering wheel-mounted paddleshifts controlling the semi-automatic gearbox, double-wishbone suspension with adjustable dampers and 18-inch wheels. The plan is for the Megane Trophy to go on sale at the end of the year in the form of a kit that will enable existing cars to be upgraded. Based on the concept, even in a slightly toned-down version, or maybe even MORE so, Renault will have many lining up for these conversions.