Peugeot RCZ coupe
Peugeot reveals road-spec TT-rivaling RCZ sports coupe - it's just like the concept
And it's big news for us – in the French firm’s words it’s ‘aimed directly at customers who see their cars as a source of driving enjoyment’. It’s potentially the first genuinely great to drive Pug since the 306 GTI-6 and Rallye, and is a signal of the company’s intent to appear back on performance car fans’ radars.
Aiding that is a good engine range. The highlight is a 1.6-litre turbo petrol - it's got direct injection and a twin-scroll ‘charger and offers up 200bhp and 203lb ft (with overboost) and a hot hatch-esque 7.6sec dash to 62mph. Peugeot’s still keen to keep environmental impact low, however, and figures of 39.8mpg and 165g/km aren’t too shabby. It comes mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.
Other engine options include a 156bhp/177lb ft 1.6-litre turbo petrol, with slightly sharper economy figures and the option of a six-speed auto. One of Peugeot’s highly-praised HDi diesels also features, and is likely to be a big seller. It’s a 2-litre and combines 163bhp/251lb ft performance with 52.3mpg and 139g/km fuel consumption and emissions.
The suspension set up is aimed squarely at the RCZ’s more sporting rivals, with McPherson type front suspension and a rear torsion beam, while the ride height is lowered 20mm compared to its Peugeot 308 cousin and there's a 40mm lower centre of gravity and wider track widths (54mm front, 72mm rear). If you go for the 200bhp petrol car you also get a lower anti-roll bar to increase the car’s agility. The power steering is hydraulic, so should be pretty feelsome.
The RCZ’s styling stays very close to its concept (which we've driven), and that's good news – it’s low slung (1.36m high, identical to its Audi TT arch rival) and retains the double bubble roof to boost aerodynamics. You can even get it in carbon to lower the centre of gravity.
Personalisation will be a big thing for RCZ buyers, too, with various colours and finishes for the body, aluminium roof arches and alloy wheels allowing a ton of combinations.
The Peugeot RCZ goes on sale in spring 2010, and will be shown to the public for the first time at September’s Frankfurt motor show, where the brand will also reveal a hybrid RCZ concept that emits just 95g/km of carbon.Click here to read our Frankfurt motor show preview