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What you’re looking at here, besides a lot of red detailing, is the most powerful production French car in the world. Sort of.

Discount the Bugatti Veyron - and you should, because it’s effectively German - and the 266bhp Peugeot RCZ R had held the title, until Renault recently, and rather competitively, shoehorned another 5bhp into its Megane Trophy.

It looks to have sent Peugeot’s engineers into enough of a tizz to rework the already quite turbocharged 1.6-litre coupe. The result is an engine remap, a new exhaust system and a new blow-off valve (stop giggling) for the turbo.

The result? A nice round 300bhp, and the regaining of blue, white and red honours in the power wars. To help control the extra muscle, the brakes have been beefed up too, with 380mm discs up front.

The less than subtle paint scheme comes courtesy of a tie-up with bike manufacturer Bimota. The RCZ R’s red, white and black apes the two-wheel Italian firm’s racing livery, while inside there are plenty of red flourishes and a host of Alcantara touches, including all the way around the steering wheel. Thumbs up for that.

Praise also for the ditching of the RCZ’s frankly useless rear seats, replaced with some neat helmet storage boxes. Another track-minded extra is the fitment of a pair of GoPros. Better hope the R’s torsen differential can safely direct those extra 34 horses, then…

Now for the bad news, and the reason for the apologetic ‘sort of’ in the intro. This is an exercise to show what form a Bimota car would take (funny how it’s French rather than Italian, mind), designed purely with the permission of Peugeot Italy. And as such, it won’t be sold. Boo.

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