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Peugeot RCZ news - Driven: Peugeot RCZ - 2010

In the land
of the tepid hatch, the pseudo-supercar is king. Peugeot’s RCZ Sports Coupe may
just be 308 in a dress, but it’s an immensely sexy dress that men like us would
quite like to wear.

Where Audi forged
a path with the lukewarm TT, Peugeot is following with the RCZ, a fantastic looking
car based on a fairly ordinary platform. This is all about style rather than
performance, a car that is meant to deliver on a whole ownership package rather
than simply scaring you, and your insurers, into an early grave.

With that
in mind, take in the scarcely believable lines of the thing, a mix of show car
curves and mid-engine sports car menace. That double-bubble roof actually blends
into the swoopy rear glass, the sort of thing people simply couldn’t do on a
production car until now. It’s an eyeful of top shelf automotive styling the
likes of which it normally costs Ferrari-money to get your hands on. But the
top spec RCZ is £25,050.

On the
move, things are less remarkable. Peugeot’s 200bhp turbocharged 1.6-litre unit
offers just enough to make the RCZ
lively, but it never feels genuinely fast. Not even a fruity exhaust note can
dial up the drama in car that really has put show before go.

As if to
underline this point, Peugeot is offering a complicated and seemingly
unnecessary range of styling options at the point of sale, like racing stripes,
carbon details and black alloys, all of which we think detract from the basic
beauty of the thing. Keep it simple, and you have a classy rival to the new
Audi TT and VW Scirocco. Muck about with it and you will look like a tit.

So it’s very
pretty, and it should be fairly economical to run, but it’s also a Peugeot. Can
they seriously pull it off? Read the full story (and see some lovely shots) in
the April issue of Top Gear magazine, on sale 26 March in a special lime green bag with a free DVD.

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