The Peugeot RCZ R is the hottest version yet of the RCZ coupe and will make its world debut at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed. The Audi TTS-rivalling RCZ R will be seen in both the static display and in high-speed action on the Goodwood hillclimb, ahead of UK deliveries kicking off in early 2014.
What modifications turn a Peugeot RCZ into an RCZ R?
The RCZ R remains front-wheel drive, and powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine. However, the THP four-pot has been tuned to develop 256bhp, up from 197bhp in the current RCZ range-topper. That gives it a specific output of 160bhp-per-litre and purported CO2 emissions of 155g/km (that compares favourably to the 2.0-litre Audi TTS, which manages 270bhp, but coughs out 184g/km in manual guise).
The RCZ R gets a Torsen torque-sensing front differential to help transfer that power to the road, and is expected to come fitted with a six-speed manual only.
The RCZ R has been built to highlight Peugeot's recent Nurburgring exploits: after campaigning a diesel model in the N24 endurance race, it's now switched to a petrol RCZ that’s has its 1.6-litre upgraded to (you guessed it) 256bhp.
Point out the RCZ R's visual tweaks...
There's no bespoke bodykit here: just a new set of 18in alloy wheels, widely-spaced twin exhausts, and a fixed rear deck spoiler in place of the standard RCZ's pop-up wing. The RCZ R also rides slightly lower than the standard version, too, while it's expected to have stiffer suspension and a brake upgrade to make the most of the additional power.
How much will the Peugeot RCZ R cost?
In light of the bespoke engine and drivetrain components, the RCZ R's price will push north of £30,000 – around £4000 more than the RCZ THP 200. The Pug's benchmark rival, the all-wheel drive Audi TTS coupe, will set you back £35,905 in pre-options list form, so it’s game on.
In due course, there's the possibility of a new 308 hatchback with the same uprated engine. Could a 260bhp 308 be allowed to wear the hallowed GTi badge and square up to the Vauxhall Astra VXR and Renaultsport Megane 265? Fingers crossed…