Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

WATCH: Is Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy EDC a Golf GTI killer?

The eighth generation of Volkswagen's popular hot hatch went from 0 to 100km/h in 5.88 seconds.

There is one very important question any incoming hot hatch in South Africa has to answer to. How it will weigh up against the Volkswagen Golf GTI?

The Golf GTI has a massive local following and remains the general benchmark for the segment. But, the latest heir to its throne is the Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy.

Watch Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy in action

When The Citizen Motoring tested the French hot hatch in 2020, Road Test Editor Mark Jones had to row it himself at Gerotek. And he did it very effectively too by clocking a time of 5.90 in going from 0 to 100km/h with the six-speed manual gearbox.

But the eighth version of the Golf GTI, which is only offered in seven-speed DSG transmission, edged the Megane a year later. While the 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.88 was only two hundredths of a second faster, the gap had grown over a quarter mile. By then the Golf GTI (14.06) had opened up a 0.32-second gap over the Renault (14.38).

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Auto box

Enter the updated version of the Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy. Where Renault only allocated seven models of the original to South Africa in 2020, the number has now grown to 55.

The outputs produced by the 1.8-litre turbocharger petrol engine stays unchanged at 221 kW/420 Nm. But it is now sent to the front wheels via six-speed EDC dual-clutch transmission instead of six-speed manual.

While it is known fact that machine can shift gears more effectively than man, it was off to Gerotek to run the Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy against the clock. And of course, the Golf GTI on our time sheets.

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Golf GTI holds its own

The results were as fascinating as we had hoped for. The Megane pipped the Golf GTI by three hundredths of a second in clocking a sprint time of 5.85 seconds. But, the Mzansi’s favourite hot hatch fought back to take it by five hundredths of a second over a quarter mile. 14.06 seconds versus 14.11.

From here on the Golf GTI started showing the Renault a clean pair of heels. It reached half a mile in 21.39 compared to the 22.06 of the Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy EDC.

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