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First look: Peugeot flaunts stunning RCZ

On show: Peugeot's 2+2 sports coupe, the RCZ, will be revealed at the Frankfurt motor show.

Peugeot’s 2+2 RCZ coupe to run choice of three engines – and possibly hybrid

Peugeot logo18 Aug 2009

By JAMES STANFORD

PEUGEOT has released more details and images of the stunning RCZ sports coupe production car which looks surprisingly faithful to the concept car presented at the 2007 Frankfurt motor show.

The new Audi TT rival – to make its debut at next month’s Frankfurt show – could go on sale in Australia as early as next July, although strong European demand might push the arrival date back by a few months.

Pricing is yet to be confirmed, but a starting price of between $55,000 and $60,000 is expected.

Peugeot has revealed the striking new 2+2 coupe will be powered by three engines, including two turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol units and a torquey 2.0-litre turbo diesel. It has also floated the idea of a hybrid version which it will present at the show in concept form.

Australia will take the more powerful turbo petrol car and the diesel, while it is considering bringing in the lower output petrol turbo that could take the form of a more affordable base model.

The RCZ will be built at Magna Steyr’s low-volume plant in Graz, Austria and will retain the RCZ name which Peugeot says indicates the vehicle’s special positioning. All other Peugeot passenger cars feature zero or double zero in their names.

The entry-level engine will be the direct-injection 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder turbo, which comes from a joint development with BMW. It produces 114kW at 5800rpm and 240Nm at 1400rpm.

It will be available with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

23 center imageA more powerful RCZ-only version of the engine produces 147kW at 5800rpm and 255Nm at 1700rpm. This engine has a twin-scroll turbocharger to increase power over the most powerful current version of the engine, which generates 128kW in the 207 GTi.

The more potent 1.6 turbo engine will be available only with a six-speed manual gearbox.

Peugeot highlights the engine note under acceleration, saying it has been tuned with what the marketing department calls “sound system technology”.

A spirited 2.0-litre diesel is also available for the RCZ. Generating 120kW at 3750rpm and 340Nm at 2000rpm, this engine has much in common with the unit fitted to a range of smaller Peugeot models.

However, it has a new combustion chamber, a new fuel pump and higher injection pressure (2000 bar) for better performance.

Peuegot says the diesel RCZ returns an average fuel economy figure of 5.4L/100km. Petrol fuel consumption details are not given.

The RCZ is based on the Peugeot/Citroen Platform 2, which provides the base for the Citroen C4 and Peugeot 308 and will therefore send power only to the front wheels.

It retains the same MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear set up, but has been lowered by 20mm, while the front and rear tracks are 54mm and 72mm wider respectively.

The most potent turbo petrol model will feature a special lower anti-roll bar.

All RCZ models will be available with 18-inch or 19-inch rims and will use hydraulic-assisted power steering.

Peugeot says the brakes will consist of 302mm or 340mm front ventilated discs and 290mm rear discs.

The RCZ will feature a pedestrian-friendly aluminium bonnet that pops up on contact to minimise the chance of the pedestrian’s head hitting hard points under the bonnet.

Peugeot says the RCZ will lend itself to high levels of personalisation with a long list of options including a carbon fibre roof, different coloured roof arches – including chrome and black – several different wheel options and carbon fibre wing mirrors.

The RCZ is a 2+2 seater with Peugeot describing the rear seats as ‘occasional’. With the rear seats in position, the RCZ has a boot volume of 384 litres, but the seats can be folded forward to free up more space.

The production car features the same bold ‘double bubble’ roof of the concept car, as well as the aluminium roof arches.

It also has an adjustable spoiler that can be deployed at two positions depending on the speed of the vehicle.

The interior features leather wrap-around seats, while dashboard appears to be clad in leather that matches the seats.

Metal-ringed instruments are exclusive to the RCZ, and Peugeot will offer a series of high-quality JBL sound systems as an option.

Peugeot is using the RCZ to showcase the hybrid technology called HYbrid4 which it says will be available within two years.

This uses a diesel engine to power the front wheels and an electric motor to power the rear wheels.

It says the RCZ HYbrid4 concept car offers improved performance over the standard diesel engine, but also emits just 95g/km.

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