Peugeot’s RCZ sports coupe has always been a striking car to look at, but in practice it’s somewhat inert to drive and lacking what its neighbouring French rival would refer to as Va-Va-Voom.
But now, along with a fresh looking face comes a performance model, still powered by the 1.6-litre THP unit shared with MINI, but now extended to deliver 256bhp as was shown in Citroen’s DS4 Racing at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Peugeot’s engineers are promising CO2 emissions of approximately 155g/km.
The ‘RCZ R Concept’ previews a future version of the RCZ which will be introduced at the end of 2013, with it becoming the most powerful production model in the brand’s history.
The Peugeot Sport and PSA Group Development teams are currently working on the RCZ R Concept, adapting technology from the world of motor sport to create a production ready vehicle capable of taking on Audi’s TTS and entry level Porsche Cayman. Whether Peugeot’s engineers are up the challenge is quite another question, but hopefully they’ll surprise us and produce the first true performance car since the 205 GTi.
A special sports suspension is being developed for the RCZ R Concept, combined with a Torsen limited slip front differential to counter the inevitable understeer and deliver a dynamic experience to challenge its four-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive rivals.
Enhanced new design style across the range
The RCZ receives a completely new front face, with a central air intake, enhanced by two satin chrome bars. A new grille is accentuated by a lower air intake which is extended on each side by a unique light signature, visible both day and night. The six LEDs are designed to represent the claws (of Peugeot’s Lion), and sit behind a smoked lens blending into a gloss black surround.
New body colours – Bistre and Moroccan Red – plus two new 19″ alloy wheel choices will be available, together with enhanced levels of interior equipment and more personalisation options.
The engine line-up remains the same, ranging from 154bhp and 197bhp 1.6-litre petrol units and a 161bhp 2.0-litre diesel. There’s a 6-speed automatic gearbox available on the 154bhp 1.6-litre THP version, which increases CO2 from 149g/km to 168g/km and reduces fuel consumption from 44.1mpg to 38.6mpg.
The new RCZ will go on sale during the 1st quarter of 2013, with the RCZ R arriving at the end of the year.