The eagerly anticipated Peugeot RCZ R will be the most powerful road-going car the brand has ever sold. At its heart is a vast range of mechanical upgrades that will guarantee a thrilling ride for anyone who gets behind the wheel.
Inspired by the Peugeot RCZ Racing Cup track car and riding 10mm lower to the ground, the new range-topping two-seater sports coupé is powered by a 1.6-litre THP turbocharged petrol engine developing 270bhp.
Since its launch in 2010, the flagship of the range has developed 200bhp. The RCZ R represents a considerable boost in power, so to harness this and create a dynamic experience to rival the best-in-class, engineers at Peugeot Sport in Paris have reworked almost every component behind the car's iconic lines.
The starting point was the engine. While many rivals rely on 2.0-litre units for performance, Peugeot opted to downsize to 1.6-litre capacity. With 270bhp it is almost identical in output to the Racing Cup car and, with nearly 170bhp per litre, sets a record for specific power in the category,
This new performance-oriented unit – codenamed EP6CDTR – features numerous parts which have evolved or been completely redesigned to allow drivers to exploit the full potential of the RCZ R. Maximum power is at 6,000rpm and maximum torque of 330Nm is at 1,900rpm to 5,500rpm, yet it meets the stringent Euro 6 emissions standard.
The block has been reinforced by a specific heat treatment prior to machining to improve durability. New forged pistons with a compression ratio of 9.2:1 were developed by Mahle Motorsport and use a grade of aluminium found in Formula One.
The con rods have been engineered to withstand continued use at high engine speeds and the uprated bearings – making their world debut on a road car – are covered with a polymer coating that can withstand higher cylinder pressures.
Also new is a specially strengthened six-speed manual transmission, uprated clutch, larger intercooler and new twin-scroll turbocharger. The exhaust has also been modified; linked to the draw of the engine's air intake, it features an enhanced 'sound system' to amplify the sporting character of the new RCZ R's engine.
A Torsen® differential has been added to the car's specification to provide additional grip. The front and rear track have been widened to boost traction. Other upgrades include revised dampers settings, increased stiffness in the springs and anti-roll bar. Aerodynamic efficiency and high-speed stability have been improved, thanks to a new fixed boot spoiler which aids rear downforce.
The Peugeot RCZ R rides on unique two-tone 19-inch alloys which accommodate new larger four-piston brakes. They feature red calipers at the front bearing the Peugeot Sport name. Discs with a diameter of 380mm and thickness of 32mm are mounted on an aluminium hub, contributing to increased weight-saving and cooling. They are shod in Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 235/40 R19 tyres for outstanding road-holding.
In more than 120 years of manufacturing cars, the RCZ R is a Peugeot like no other. Its exceptional performance and agility are the result of countless hours of bespoke development and attention to detail, followed by validation on and off the track with Peugeot Sport's experienced test drivers in control.
The result is a sports coupé par excellence, a performance car with outstanding acceleration, braking and cornering stability. It will sprint from 0-62mph in just 5.9 seconds and accelerate on to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. The RCZ R is a Peugeot with the aggression of a lion at its heart, measured at more than two seconds per kilometre quicker than the 200bhp car at the famous Nürburgring test track. The difference was even greater in wet conditions.
Despite the car's performance credentials, environmental concerns were always at the heart of powerplant development. With CO2 emissions of only 145g/km and fuel economy of 44.8mpg on the Combined Drive Cycle, it leaves class rivals trailing in its wake.
The Peugeot RCZ R made its International debut in the UK at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last July and was formally revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Priced from £31,995, the RCZ R will be available to order from 18th November and deliveries will start in the UK from 2nd January 2014. The vehicle is available in four colours – Moroccan Red, Nera Black, Mercury Grey and Opal White.