2013 Peugeot RCZ THP 200 GT review and pictures

The updated-for-2013 Peugeot RCZ THP 200 gets a new look. Is it a good performance coupe?

What is it? The new-for-2013, updated Peugeot RCZ coupe. Three years on from the RCZ's introduction, the Audi TT-rival has had a nip and tuck and an update to its trim, colour and equipment lists. The sportiest version – for now – is this THP 200, which costs from £23,980 in base Sport trim or £26,380 in the GT spec tested here, which 80 per cent of customers go for. Technical highlights? The facelift is just a cosmetic one, with no mechanical changes. It means the wide-jawed, big-headlight look that somewhat blunted the swoopy curves of the outgoing RCZ is replaced with something less gawky but also, to these eyes, too fussy. The overall look is still bold and beguiling, though; age hasn’t diminished the RCZ’s presence. Under the skin is a 197bhp version of the 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine you’ll find in other Peugeots, Citroens and hot Minis, driving the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox. The front suspension is MacPherson type at the front, torsion beam at the rear, with wider track widths (44mm front, 63mm rear) than the chassis setup on its 308 hatchback relative. This top-rung RCZ also benefits from a lower bracing bar on the front suspension, designed to ramp up its agility. What’s it like to drive? With tough competition from the Audi TT and VW Scirocco, the RCZ has never quite topped the coupe class – but that doesn’t stop it from being a good car to drive. The end product is actually more than the sum of its parts; the ride is firm and particularly fiddly through town, the electric power steering vague, and while the gearbox has a slick, satisfying shift, its six ratios feel too tall. Once in its flow, though, the RCZ is very capable and enjoyable. There is masses of grip, it’s well balanced, and away from rutted urban roads, the taut ride results in keen responses and impressively flat cornering. The remaining bugbear is that steering: with so little feel, it’s hard to tell when front-end grip is finally waning. The brakes, on the other hand, are impressively strong. The engine, like in all its other applications, shines brightly. It’s as punchy as all good modern petrol turbos, but is keener to rev than most, and you’re rewarded for hanging on until the 6000rpm red line with a rorty (if slightly artificial) soundtrack and the full 197bhp. How does it compare? We’ve compared the RCZ to its two most natural foes – the 207bhp/£25,915 VW Scirocco GT 2.0 TSI and 208bhp/£27,425 Audi TT 2.0 TFSI Sport – in a previous group test. Both pipped it dynamically, but the RCZ is undeniably more interesting to look at. If you’re seeking the ultimate front-drive experience, though, the less curvy (but 261bhp) Renaultsport Megane 265 Cup costs from £25,245. Anything else I need to know? It might be a 2+2, but the rear seats are unusable for adults, while there’s a boot at the rear rather than the more practical hatchback of some rivals. Oh, and by the end of 2013 the range-topping RCZ won’t be this THP 200, but a 250bhp-plus Peugeot RCZ R…

Specifications

EngineIn-line 4-cyl, 1598cc, turbocharged
Max power197bhp @ 5800rpm
Max torque202lb ft @ 1770rpm
0-607.6sec (claimed 0-62)
Top speed146mph (claimed)
On saleNow
Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/land-rover/discovery-sport/201862/2019-land-rover-discovery-sport-d180-se-review
Land Rover Discovery Sport

2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport D180 SE review

18 Oct 2019
Visit/volkswagen/201859/volkswagen-t-roc-r-review-ever-wish-the-golf-r-was-a-little-bit-taller
Volkswagen T-Roc

Volkswagen T-Roc R review - ever wish the Golf R was a little bit taller?

17 Oct 2019
Visit/toyota/yaris/201858/all-new-toyota-yaris-revealed-and-hot-gazoo-models-arent-far-behind
Toyota Yaris

All-new Toyota Yaris revealed – and hot Gazoo models aren’t far behind

17 Oct 2019
Visit/hyundai/201854/updated-2020-hyundai-i30-n-spied-before-reveal-early-next-year
Hyundai i30 N

Updated 2020 Hyundai i30 N spied before reveal early next year

16 Oct 2019
Advertisement

More on RCZ

Visit/peugeot/rcz/15062/peugeot-rcz-r-gets-300hp-bimota-special-edition
Peugeot RCZ coupe

Peugeot RCZ R gets 300hp Bimota special edition

Huge amount of power from a 1.6-litre engine
26 Jan 2015
Visit/news/evonews/292879/exagon_furtive_electric_gt_car.html
Peugeot RCZ coupe

Exagon Furtive electric GT car

The Exagon Furtive eGT is an electric GT car from France. Details and pictures here
15 Jul 2014
Visit/peugeot/rcz/13810/peugeot-rcz-red-carbon-pictures-details-and-uk-prices
Peugeot RCZ coupe

Peugeot RCZ Red Carbon pictures, details and UK prices

Peugeot has added a new Red Carbon special edition to its RCZ coupe line-up. Details here
8 May 2014
Visit/peugeot/rcz/13776/peugeot-dkr-2008
Peugeot RCZ coupe

Peugeot DKR 2008

Peugeot has unveiled pictures of the new 2008 rally car, which it will use to enter the Dakar Rally next year. Details and pictures here
15 Apr 2014
Advertisement
Visit/peugeot/rcz/r
Peugeot RCZ coupe

Peugeot RCZ R review, price and specs

The Peugeot RCZ R is the firm's most powerful car, and the first Peugeot Sport product since the 205 T16
17 Dec 2013
Visit/peugeot/rcz/13370/peugeot-rcz-r-price-and-specs
Peugeot RCZ coupe

Peugeot RCZ R price and specs

The Peugeot RCZ R fights the Audi TTS and VW Scirocco R as the French firm's most powerful road car yet
10 Jul 2013
Visit/peugeot/rcz/13243/peugeot-rcz-magnetic-limited-edition
Peugeot RCZ coupe

Peugeot RCZ Magnetic limited edition

The Peugeot RCZ Magnetic special edition gets matt black alloy wheels and extra standard equipment
17 May 2013
Visit/peugeot/rcz/12940/peugeot-rcz-arlen-ness-edition
Peugeot RCZ coupe

Peugeot RCZ Arlen Ness edition

A curious special edition, as the Peugeot RCZ coupe celebrates motorcycle maker Arlen Ness
18 Jan 2013
Visit/peugeot/rcz/12795/fast-peugeot-family-tree
Peugeot RCZ coupe

Fast Peugeot family tree

The RCZ R, Peugeot's most powerful road car ever produced, has been unveiled at the Paris motor show. We take a look at the history of the fast Peugeo…
15 Oct 2012
Visit/peugeot/rcz/12769/peugeot-rcz-r-at-the-paris-motor-show
Peugeot RCZ coupe

Peugeot RCZ R at the Paris motor show

Peugeot's most powerful car ever - the 256bhp RCZ R - could herald a new R performance brand
27 Sep 2012
Advertisement
Visit/peugeot/rcz/12741/hot-peugeot-rcz-r-confirmed
Peugeot RCZ coupe

Hot Peugeot RCZ R confirmed

Peugeot has confirmed that it will be building a high-performance variant of RCZ, to be launched at the Paris motor show
13 Sep 2012
Visit/peugeot/rcz/12737/peugeot-onyx-fully-revealed
Peugeot RCZ coupe

Peugeot Onyx fully revealed

After images leaked onto the internet, Peugeot has fully revealed the Onyx supercar concept prior to its Paris show launch. Full details and gallery h…
12 Sep 2012
Advertisement
Visit/peugeot/rcz/12734/peugeot-onyx-concept-teased
Peugeot RCZ coupe

Peugeot Onyx concept teased

Peugeot has released a short film, revealing limited details of a new concept, called Onyx, that will be unveiled at the Paris motor show
11 Sep 2012
Visit/peugeot/rcz/14134/peugeot-rcz-v-audi-tt-v-volkswagen-scirocco
Peugeot RCZ coupe

Peugeot RCZ v Audi TT v Volkswagen Scirocco

The curvy new Peugeot RCZ battles its most talented coupe rivals, the Audi TT and Volkswagen Scirocco
19 Dec 2011
Visit/news/evonews/265156/latest_issue_of_evo_magazine.html
Peugeot RCZ coupe

Latest issue of evo Magazine

McLaren MP4-12C driven, new Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4, Jaguar XKR-S, new Koenigsegg, Peugeot RCZ v Audi TT v VW Scirocco, Honda S2000 buying guide
1 Mar 2011
Visit/peugeot/rcz/11558/new-peugeot-908-2011-le-mans-24-hour-racer
Peugeot RCZ coupe

New Peugeot 908 2011 Le Mans 24 hour racer

Peugeot reveals its new racing car for the 2011 Le Mans 24 hour race, the closed cockpit 908
7 Feb 2011
Advertisement
Visit/peugeot/rcz/6885/peugeot-rcz-200-thp-review
Peugeot RCZ coupe

Peugeot RCZ 200 THP review

Is Peugeot's flagship coupe all it's cracked up to be? Ollie Marriage reports on the 197bhp RCZ.
16 Sep 2010
Visit/peugeot/rcz/6970/peugeot-rcz-16-thp-156-review
Peugeot RCZ coupe

Peugeot RCZ 1.6 THP 156 review

Entry-level version of Peugeot's Audi TT rival, the RCZ. What's the THP 156 like to drive?
19 May 2010
Visit/peugeot/rcz/6838/peugeot-rcz-review
Peugeot RCZ coupe

Peugeot RCZ review

We road test the Audi TT-rivaling Peugeot RCZ sports coupe in the UK
4 May 2010
Visit/peugeot/rcz/6960/peugeot-rcz-16-thp-200-review
Peugeot RCZ coupe

Peugeot RCZ 1.6 THP 200 review

The concept has become a production reality, but is the Peugeot RCZ as good to drive as it is to look at?
18 Apr 2010