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Peugeot RC Z will be built

Published: 24 April 2008

The Peugeot RC Z has been confirmed for production. After claims about gauging public reaction, and teasing us with drives in a concept car that felt production-ready, the French manufacturer has done the decent thing and decided to build the RC Z.

The production model will be shown at the 2009 Frankfurt show, two years after the concept was first unveiled. Sales will start in spring 2010 and Peugeot is promising that ‘specification of the production model will be based on the key features of the RC Z concept car’.

Just what does that mean for the Peugeot RC Z concept?

Expect the looks to remain all but identical. Peugeot is already offering RC Z-inspired grilles on the 308 and the company hopes the curvy glass rear screen will make production. On the concept it was made from Perspex but those clever Peugeot engineers have figured out how to make a glass version. But the double-bubble screen corrupts vision, and along with cost considerations that may be enough to rule out the fancy rear screen. It's safe to say it will also be a shock if the carbonfibre roof survives.

The concept produced 218bhp from its 1.6-litre turbocharged engine although Peugeot is worried about the production feasibility of such a high output. But Mini has squeezed 208bhp from the same engine for the John Cooper Works cars so expect 200bhp-plus in the production cars, plus detuned versions and diesels.

What about underneath that fancy French bodywork?

The RC Z’s platform is 308, which means struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear. There will be a widened track and to disguise the MPV-esque roots of the 308 you'll sit about 6cm lower.

The concept car’s interior was basically lifted from the 308, but we hope Peugeot ditches the overly large steering wheel and that rather chintzy clock. The two rear seats will no doubt remain useless, though the boot holds a decent 415 litres. Prices should start from £19k.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy

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