The new, hardcore Renault Megane RS Trophy-R has wiped three seconds off the Nurburgring lap record for a front-wheel-drive production car. You can watch the lap in the video above.

The Megane got round the Nordschleife in 7mins 40.1secs – the current Honda Civic Type R previously held the record, with a time of 7mins 43.8secs. The two previous generations of Megane RS Trophy-R also held the FWD lap record when they came out.

The new car is powered by the same 296bhp, 295lb/ft 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbo engine as found in the regular Megane RS 300 Trophy. But the Trophy-R has been stripped of 130kg of weight, the aerodynamics have been honed and “more radical development” of the chassis has gone on.

Renault hasn’t yet gone into specifics on the changes that have been made – presumably more details will be forthcoming.

We do know that a veritable who’s-who of top-end component suppliers have been involved in developing the Trophy-R. The exhaust comes from Akrapovic, the brakes from Brembo, the dampers from Ohlins, the tyres from Bridgestone and the seats from Sabelt.

Expect a 0-62mph sprint below the Trophy’s 5.7secs and a top speed above its 161mph. On the record lap, the Trophy-R momentarily reaches 160mph.

The Trophy-R will make its public debut this weekend and the Monaco Grand Prix. Renault F1 drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg will be demonstrating it on circuit in the build-up to the race.

Only a few hundred examples will be built, no doubt carrying a pretty hefty premium over the £31,835 of the RS 300 Trophy.

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By Graham King