18 August 2009

Peugeot gets the hump

Peugeot’s TT-rivalling RCZ is out, and it looks, er… actually pretty damn fine. No, honestly…

Peugeot RCZ

See more pictures of the Peugeot RCZ

Your eyes do not deceive you. This is a Peugeot and it is exciting.

This is the Peugeot RCZ, the production version of the Audi TT-rivalling concept we saw a couple of summers ago. But now it is real and reaching a road near you early next year.

Not a bad looking thing, is it? Most excellently, the ‘double bubble’ roof of the concept has remained – Peugeot says it improves aero flow over the top of the car – along with those fat flared arches and aluminium roof strips.

Though based on 308 underpinnings, the RCZ is a two-door, 2+2 coupe with more focus on driving dynamics than anything in the current Peugeot range.

The ride height is 20mm lower than the 308, while the front and rear tracks have been widened by 54mm and 72mm respectively.

Peugeot says it has dropped its standard numeric naming convention for the RCZ because the car is so damn special. It’ll be built in ‘small volumes’ at Magna Steyr’s Austrian factory, so quality should be high.

If you’re expecting TTRS-matching pace from the RCZ, you’re being a bit ambitious. Three engines will be available at launch, with a 200bhp 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine (a powered-up version of the unit in the Mini Cooper S) topping the range.

It’ll hustle the RCZ to 62mph in 7.6 seconds while returning 39.8mpg and under 165g/km of CO2. A detuned version of the same engine – developing 156bhp – and a 163bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel are also on the menu, the latter returning over 50mpg and just under 140g/km of CO2.

There’s a decent bit of bootspace, too – 384 litres, to be precise – and the rear seats (which Peugeot admits are strictly ‘occasional’) can be folded down to increase luggage capacity.

We’ll see the RCZ in the metal – and buttock-aping glass – at the Frankfurt motorshow, before it goes on sale in the UK next spring. Let’s hear your thoughts…

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