Peugeot’s 270bhp RCZ R is the car maker’s fastest ever road car

Peugeot will reveal its most powerful ever road car at this week’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, and it looks like the new RCZ R is more of a sports car than we’d ever dare imagined.

First things first is the engine, based on the current 1.6-litre THP turbocharged unit shared with MINI, the ‘R’ produces 270bhp, 330Nm of torque and emits just 145g/km of CO2.

Combined fuel consumption is an impressive 44.8mpg despite being capable of 0 to 62mph in 5.9 seconds, 0 to 400m in 14.2 seconds, the standing kilometre in 25.4 seconds and 50 to 70mph in 6.8 seconds (using 6th gear). Top speed is an electronically limited 155mph.

To deliver such a hike in power (up from 200bhp in the RCZ), Peugeot have extensively upgraded the THP engine, developing new Mahle pistons providing a compression ratio of 9.2:1, cooling them via two jets and strengthening the con rods to withstand continued use at high engine speeds.

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Their bearings are now covered with a polymer coating to withstand the higher cylinder pressures, and the ‘R’s steel exhaust manifold has been redesigned to adopt a unique architecture, inspired by racing systems, which can handle the higher temperatures.

The end target, according to Peugeot’s engine development manager, Thierry Chauvet, was to deliver an engine which is “..resistant to sports use on the racetrack.” Sounds pretty serious doesn’t it?

A Torsen differential manages torque between the front wheels and enables maximum torque to be deployed from 1900 rpm.

Lighter and more agile..

But surely a track-friendly sports car needs to be lighter and optimised dynamically? Well, Peugeot have thought of that too.

At 1280kg, the RCZ R is 17kg lighter than the less powerful RCZ, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 211 bhp per tonne. Its suspension has been lowered by 10mm and features a wider track, increased camber angle and 19-inch alloy wheels which are +0.5 inch broader than before.

Its dampers are new, matched with stiffer springs and a thicker anti-roll bar for improved handling and agility. A set of Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 235/40 R19 tyres provide the adhesion.

But will it stop?

The most important upgrade for any track car is the brakes – there’s no point going faster if you can’t also stop more quickly – so Peugeot have fitted a set of four-piston calipers which clamp down on discs with a diameter of 380mm and a thickness of 32mm. Peugeot say the ‘R’ can now decelerate from 80mph to zero in less than 61 metres.

The discs are supplied by British company Alcon and mounted on an aluminium hub.

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Styling

The recently updated RCZ has always been a good looking car, and now with the ‘R’ Peugeot have applied a series of tasteful upgrades that give the car a more aggressive stance, while improving its aerodynamic efficiency.

A new fixed boot spoiler increases rear down-force while stretching the car’s profile view. A rear diffuser includes two chromed exhaust pipes, which produce a more meaty sound that’s enhanced by the RCZ’s sound system and channelled into the cabin.

‘R’ badges adorn the grille and alloy wheels, as well as a signature ‘RCZ R’ logo on the boot lid.

The RCZ R will be available in four colours – Moroccan Red, Nera Black, Mercury Grey and Opal White – when it goes on sale in the early part of next year and customers can also choose from a range of satin or gloss carbon roof treatments, decal designs and black mirror shells.

Inside, the RCZ R features new sports design seats, a smaller steering wheel and short shift gear stick. The Nappa leather/Alcantara seats are monogrammed with the letter ‘R’, and a red ‘R’ is inscribed on a brushed aluminium certification plate on the centre console.

We’ll find out more about the RCZ R when it makes its global debut at the Frankfurt motor show, in the meantime you’ll see it driving up the hill at Goodwood later this week.

When we spoke to Peugeot about the price, all they said was “..we won’t be announcing prices until much later in the year, but suffice to say it will be priced very competitively in the marketplace.” Sounds promising.