The RCZ is less of a sports car than a sporty coupe, with engines ranging from a sedate 1.6-liter THP putting out 156 HP and 177 lb-ft of torque to a more powerful 1.6-liter gasser good enough for 200 HP and 203 lb-ft of torque and a 0-to-62 MPH time of 7.6 seconds. Not bad. Our choice would probably be the 2.0-liter HDi diesel which pumps out 163 HP and 251 lb-ft of torque all while offering 52.3 MPG fuel economy (EU combined cycle).
Because the RCZ is more targeted at the premium car buyer than the performance car buyer, the coupe is outfitted with high quality gear and a luxurious look. We could totally see Carla Bruni tooling around in one when it goes on sale next spring.
THE PEUGEOT RCZ - A DYNAMIC NEW CHAPTER
• On sale in Spring 2010
• Four power-train options including 200bhp petrol turbo
• Great driving and road holding qualities
• A range of options available to personalize the RCZ
• Stunning looks combine with practicality
The launch of the Peugeot RCZ will mark the start of a dynamic new chapter in the history of Peugeot. This stunning coupé has been designed to be a special vehicle within the Peugeot range, aimed directly at customers who see their cars as a source of driving enjoyment as well as daily transport.
The name, RCZ, symbolises this special positioning as it will be the first Peugeot passenger car not to use the traditional numbering system with a central ‘zero' or ‘double zero'.
Designed to enhance the sheer enjoyment of driving, the RCZ is both dynamic (the top of the range model features an all new 1.6 litre THP 200 bhp engine) and responsible, offering an innovative blend of performance and environmental-friendliness. With its reduced weight, fine-tuned aerodynamics and modern engine technology, the entry level model has CO2 emissions of only 139 g/km.
Due to the special nature of the vehicle, it will be built by Magna Steyr in Austria in a production centre that specialises in exclusive vehicles built in small volumes.
The RCZ is a compact 2+ 2 Coupé with a number of key styling features. The "double bubble" of the roof, which was a major talking point of the original concept car, is retained in the production car.
The aluminium "roof arches", another feature of the concept car, are also retained and help highlight the front windscreen, black roof panel and dark-tinted rear windscreen. At the front the RCZ retains the marque's characteristic feline look.
The vehicle stands 1.36 m high and, with the optimised airflow due to the double bubble roof, has superb aerodynamics. At the rear, an active rear boot spoiler also contributes to the car's aerodynamic efficiency; it can be deployed in two positions according to the speed of the vehicle to ensure an ideal balance between road holding and fuel consumption.
The passenger compartment of the RCZ instantly immerses the driver in a subtly elitist ambience echoing the world of motor sport.
"Getting into" the vehicle, the driver discovers an ergonomic driving position, ideal for enjoying the RCZ's high levels of road-holding. The wrap-around seats with their integral head restraints fit like a glove around the front occupants, and all the controls are easily within the reach of the driver.
The use of high quality materials throughout the interior combines with the elegant design to enhance the overall premium feeling of the interior.
The instrument panel dials are contained in metal cases, with photo-etched, back-lit markings, a feature which is also continued in the stylish centrally mounted clock.
The fascia panel is covered entirely with an innovative soft feel material, hi-tech in appearance and very elegant in style. Customers will also be able to choose from several different colours. Nappa integral leather trim, a luxurious thick leather with a particularly fine, smooth grain is also available.
The overall ambience of the interior can also be enhanced by a range of hi-tech in-car-entertainment systems - Peugeot Connect 3D multimedia system, JBLTM Hi-fi system, Peugeot Connect USB box ....
The interior is also very versatile, allowing users to adapt to many situations. For example, for a long weekend, the boot offers a capacity of 384 litres (321 dm3 according to the VDA standard) added to which are storage spaces under the boot floor. There is also the potential to increase this capacity further by folding the rear seat backs down.
Finally, it offers two occasional seats, fully sculpted and perfectly usable, especially since the design of the roof with its double bubble offers extra headroom to these occasional rear passengers.
In the RCZ, good looks combine with practicality...
At launch in 2010, three engines will find their place under the large aluminium bonnet of the RCZ. All high-performance engines in every sense of the word with high torque and power outputs, low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions and all meeting the Euro 5 emission standard. The reduction of the environmental impact of the vehicle was one of the project's key priorities.
1.6 litre THP 200 bhp six speed manual gearbox - This all new engine allows the car's chassis to fulfil its true potential. With its maximum torque of 188 lb ft at 1700rpm (or 203 lb ft with overboost) and a maximum power of 200bhp at 5800rpm, it enables the RCZ to accelerate from 50 to 75mph in 6.5 seconds in fifth gear and 0 to 62mph in 7.6 seconds. Fuel consumption in the combined cycle is 39.8mpg with CO2 emission of less than 165g/km.
The 4-cylinder engine has a capacity of 1598 cm3 combined with a range of innovative technologies like the twin-scroll turbocharger for performance and instant response at very low engine speeds, direct petrol injection, and variable valve lift coupled with variable valve timing on the intake and exhaust camshafts (VTi technology), for reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The "sound of the engine" during acceleration has also been optimised through the use of Sound System technology. A different sound is created according to the engine speed, just like a musical instrument.
1.6 litre THP 156 bhp six speed manual gearbox or six speed automatic gearbox - This turbocharged direct-injection petrol engine achieves a remarkable balance between performance (177 lb ft at 1400 rpm and 156 bhp at 5800 rpm) and fuel consumption (40.9 mpg and 159 g/km of CO2 with a manual gearbox). It will also be available from the summer of 2010, with an all new 6-speed sequential automatic gearbox.
2.0 litre HDi FAP 163 bhp six speed manual gearbox - With a capacity of 1997 cm3, this engine develops a maximum power of 163 bhp at 3750 rpm and a generous maximum torque of 251 lb ft at 2000 rpm. To obtain this level of performance it has a new generation ECCS (Extreme Conventional Combustion System) combustion chamber design, a variable-geometry low-inertia turbocharger, a high-pressure diesel injection pump with a maximum pressure of 2000 bars and electronic solenoid injectors with eight apertures.
This engine optimises the RCZ's potential in terms of road holding while limiting its fuel consumption to only 52.3 mpg in the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 139 g/km.
Suspension, Steering, Brakes.....
The RCZ uses the considerable knowledge and expertise of Peugeot with regards to driveability and road holding, to ensure it takes the notion of driving enjoyment to a new level within the Peugeot range.
The RCZ benefits from the already highly efficient suspension set-up found on other platform two vehicles (McPherson typ front suspension and rear torsion beam), but it has been specially revised for the RCZ.
Compared to the standard ‘Platform Two' vehicle, the ride height has been lowered by 20mm, the centre of gravity is also lower by 40mm, the front track has been widened by 54mm and the rear track is wider by 72mm.
The shock absorber calibration has also been revised to ensure the best possible levels of road holding and the RCZ will be available with both 18" and 19" wheels and tyres.
On versions of the RCZ fitted with the petrol turbocharged 200 bhp THP engine, the front suspension benefits from a special lower anti-roll bar to make the car even more responsive and agile.
The hydraulic power steering is designed to offer accuracy of the highest order and excellent responsiveness.
Braking, meanwhile, is powerful and durable and is assured by generously dimensioned ventilated discs with a diameter of 302 mm and a thickness of 26 mm (340x30 mm with the 200 bhp THP engine). All models are equipped with rear brake discs with a diameter of 290x12 mm.
To assist manoeuvring on steep gradients, all versions of the RCZ come with Hill Assist. This function is coupled as standard with ESP which, except on versions with an automatic gearbox, includes an intelligent traction control system (a sophisticated ASR which automatically adapts the traction of both front wheels according to the available grip levels), and of course dynamic stability control (DSC), electronic brake force distribution (EBFD) and emergency brake assist (EBA). The DSC, ASR and EBA functions can be disconnected simultaneously (ESP off) so that experienced and demanding drivers can fully exploit the car's capabilities.
So that every customer can make their car unique, the RCZ lays great store on personalisation, to keep within the vehicle's exclusive positioning.
The range options include: a real carbon roof, roof arches in different colours (black chrome, "satin finish"), a range of 18" and 19'' alloy wheels in several finishes (matt black, polished black, dark grey, diamanté), black lacquered body parts at the front, carbon door mirror covers, bodywork detailing, etc.
Customers will be able to order these items at the time of purchase and they will be available individually or grouped together.
In addition to the high levels of primary safety, a direct result of the excellent road holding. The secondary safety levels are further boosted by the optimised structural design, efficient means of occupant restraint and the fitment of an active bonnet which ‘pops-up' due to a pyrotechnic triggering system and, therefore, limits the degree of injury a pedestrian is likely to suffer in the event of a collision.
The RCZ goes on sale in Spring 2010.