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Peugeot’s most potent machine outed in full

Red delight: Peugeot Australia's allocation of RCZ Rs has doubled to 40.

Europe’s loss is Australia’s gain as Peugeot’s local RCZ R allocation doubles


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10 Jul 2013

PEUGEOT Australia will get its hands on twice as many RCZ Rs as expected, with 40 of the manic 200kW coupes now scheduled to touch down here in March 2014 from about $75k.

Earlier this year, the company said it would secure about 20 out of a global allocation of 500. The stroke of luck that has seen this allocation double my be a result of continued market decline in Europe, paired with Australia’s voracious appetite for performance cars of almost any stripe.

The news comes as the French brand revealed the RCZ R’s full specs ahead of its world premiere at this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Headlining this new information is the fact that Peugeot’s engineers have wrung a rather astonishing 199kW at 6000rpm and 330Nm between 1900-5000rpm from the car’s familiar 1.6-litre turbo – a PSA engine used in a wide range of applications including the Mini Cooper.

The Euro 6 engine has an almost unprecedented specific output of around 128kW per litre.

It is easy to envisage such a highly-strung engine having longevity issues, but Peugeot says it has taken steps. First, the engine itself is reinforced by a specific heat treatment prior to machining to improve durability.

The twin-scroll turbo has been re-designed, as has the steel exhaust manifold. New Mahle Motorsport pistons, compressed at 9.2:1, are constructed of Formula One-grade aluminium.

Finally, the con rods were specified to withstand continued use at high engine speeds, and the bearings are covered with a polymer coating that can withstand the subsequent higher cylinder pressures.

“To get 270bhp and 330Nm of torque from a 1.6-litre engine and be resistant to sports use on the racetrack, it was necessary to introduce new high-performance, competitive solutions,” said engine development manager Thierry Chauvet.

“Peugeot Sport has all the skills to do this. Research and development teams brought together their experiences and expertise to ensure the sustainability of the car and its industrial application.” Technical manager Cyrille Jourdan added: “downsizing is a logical approach, not just in production vehicles but is also happening at the forefront of Motor Sport, with the major disciplines soon to use a turbocharged 1.6-litre, and even Formula 1 is doing this in 2014!” Peugeot also chopped 17kg out of the car’s kerb weight compared to the regular petrol RCZ, trimming it to 1280kg.

As such, the car is Peugeot’s most powerful road car to date, and has a claimed zero to 100km/h time of 5.9 seconds compared to 7.5s on the regular car.

Underneath the stylised bodyshell with new boot-spoiler sits a wider track, bigger camber angle, wider rims and Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 235/40 R19 tyres. The suspension has harder dampers, while Peugeot also adds stiffer springs and a stiffer anti-roll bar to help agility.

The car also features a track-tested Torsen differential to put the power down through the front wheels. A six-speed manual gearbox is expected to be standard fit.

Peugeot has fitted four-piston calipers, which allow a significant gain in stiffness and therefore pedal stroke, with 380/32mm discs. The car can stop dead from 125km/h in 61 metres.

Opening the door reveals what Peugeot calls “a cockpit of purpose”, with unique embossed sills, red stitching on the dashboard and leather steering wheel, and white on the gear-lever gaiter, door panels, armrests and seats.

The leather and suede sports seats are new, as are the chrome console highlights, shift-shift gear stick and the shrunken steering wheel.

The regular RCZ retails here for $58,990 plus on-road costs in either petrol or diesel guise, with the R expected to command a premium of about $15,000.

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