Peugeot RCZ coupé (2009): first official pictures

Published: 17 August 2009

Peugeot has unveiled the RCZ coupé, a bespoke two-door sports model based on the 308 hatch range – and a bit of an Audi TT on the cheap, we reckon. In fact, we can't remember so much excitement in the office over a humble Peugeot for... well, aeons really.

The RCZ is a sporty 2+2 and stays remarkably faithful to the RC concept car. Even the double-bubble roof remains in production (apparently it helps the aerodynamics). Impressive.

Peugeot says this model is so special that it warrants its first non-numeric name with not a zero in sight. RCZ it is, then.

Peugeot RCZ: the engine choice

The headline act of four powertrain options is a 200bhp high-tech 1.6-litre turbo engine, feeding power through a six-speed manual gearbox. This will be enough to shoot the car to 62mph in 7.6 seconds, while kicking out less than 165g/km of CO2 and returning 39.8mpg combined.

This range-topping 200bhp RCZ will sit lower than the other models for a more sporting handling bias. And there's a ‘sound system technology’ to vary the sound the exhaust makes depending on the position of the rpm needle and your right foot.

And the cheaper RCZ models?

The other engines are a 156bhp 1.6 petrol (with manual or automatic six-speed transmissions and a handy 139g/km of CO2) and a 2.0 HDI producing 163bhp and 251lb ft of torque.

Expect 18- and 19-inch wheel options, and personalisation including a real carbon roof, bodywork detailing and a pop-up spoiler. UK sales start in spring 2010 and every RCZ will be built by Magna Steyr in Austria.

Is it a real 2+2?

Yes. Even Peugeot describes the rear seats as 'occasional', although the boot does swallow 384 litres of gubbins. And you can fold the rear bench down to take more clobber.

Let's hope that Peugeot has matched the RCZ's stunning looks with an equally exciting drive. It has some weight-saving tech onboard – including an aluminium bonnet – and Peugeot has lowered it by 20mm over the 308, while stretching the track front and rear.

We've been dying to see a sharp-driving, slick-looking Pug... will the RCZ be that car?

By Gareth Evans

Contributor, historic racer and now running sister title Motor Cycle News's website

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