Hot Peugeot RCZ R Debuts At Goodwood

by Andrew Evans / July 11, 2013

Peugeot's RCZ is a pretty highly-rated car. Coming in at around £22,000-£26,000 it's a stylish and good to drive alternative to more traditional sporty coupes like the Audi TT.

Although we don't recall any particular complaints about performance, particularly from the 200hp Sport, Peugeot have stepped up to the plate with this new RCZ R variant to give the car an extra kick.

Co-developed with Peugeot Sport, the RCZ R retains the 1.6 litre THP engine of the existing petrol-powered RCZ but cranks both power and torque up significantly - from 200hp and 206 lb-ft in the Sport up to a giddying 267 hp and 238 lb-ft. Yes, that's an increase in power of more than a third!

Acceleration time has, accordingly, plummeted, with the 0-62mph sprint knocked off in 5.9s - 1.5s faster than the 200hp Sport - and it should be good enough for a top speed of around 160mph, gearing permitted. Astonishingly it retains a fuel economy figure comparable to the 150hp version at 44.8mpg combined - equivalent to 145g/km CO2.

Stats fans will note that this gives the RCZ R a ludicrous specific power output of 167hp/litre and, with the dry weight dropping to just 1280kg, a power-to-weight ratio of nearly 210hp/tonne.

Keen to keep the RCZ's handling properties, a new suspension set-up has been developed for the R, with more camber, stiffer dampers and anti-roll bars and a wider track with wider wheels. The power is reigned in by a Torsen limited slip differential.

Subtlely lowered to improve the centre of gravity and with a new fixed spoiler to enhance high speed stability, Peugeot promises that the extra power doesn't spoil the RCZ experience.

Inside and out the R will be distinct from the rest of the range, with prominent R-badging (even milled onto the wheels!) and Peugeot Sport branding. A smaller steering wheel and custom bucket seats prevent any confusion with lesser models and the level of kit is straight from the top shelf of what Peugeot offers - the World of Peugeot multimedia and navigation system is standard.

The RCZ R will be making its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, with a full reveal at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September - with a planned on-sale date in early 2014.

Conclusion

There's always a big worry that shovelling lots of torque into a front wheel drive car results in wayward behaviour and it's no different here. Despite being originally developed as a racing car, where control of power is more important than the power itself, it'll remain a concern until it's road tested beyond the Goodwood Hill Climb.

One thing that hasn't yet been published is a price. While competitors like the Scirocco R and Audi TTS come in at around £32,000-£35,000, neither is as reliant on bespoke parts as the RCZ R - the engine alone is a largely new unit specifically for the RCZ R. If the price falls in this range it could be good value for money, but the unique components may push it well north of it - and that'll transform the car into little more than a weekend toy.

If Peugeot can keep the price and the power from getting away too quickly, the RCZ R could be the performance range-topper that captures the attention.



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