Wednesday 12th September 2012


...and previews 260hp 'R' version

The Peugeot RCZ finally loses its dated pre-facelift 308-style nose with a new look of its own, thanks to a facelift that will debut at the Paris Motor Show. Even better, Peugeot will also show an ‘RCZ R Concept’ – previewing a 260hp version that’s confirmed to arrive next year.

The RCZ’s new nose has a smaller grille and a bolder lower air intake that runs the full width of the front end. The headlight innards have been subtly reshaped, and have either aluminium or titanium backgrounds. It of course also incorporates LED daytime running lights, hidden behind smoked lenses, which Peugeot says are designed to look a bit like claws.

The rest of the facelifted RCZ, which goes on sale in early 2013 is unchanged: the rear end didn’t need any restyling, and the double bubble roof still looks distinctive. It’s just that the front now blends in better with the rest of it.

Even less has been done inside: the fact Peugeot points out the gear lever surround is now lacquered black tells you everything. For the record, GT models now have door trim pads trimmed with leather inserts, and they also gain a pair of aluminium inserts for the centre console and dash.

What Peugeot is keen to press is a new range of personalisation options. This is all the rage on models like MINI and Citroen DS3: now, Peugeot is offering choices including lacquered black grill bars, three roof arch colours, two carbon roof options, three body decals, 10 alloy wheel designs, two new colours and a smart ‘Black Pack’ exterior pack that does exactly what it says.

A sound symposer is added to the 1.6-litre THP 156 and THP 200 models, amplifying the rort of the engine, and the stereo now has Arkamus digital sound processing. The sat nav system is upgraded to the latest Peugeot Connect RT6 setup, with 7-inch screen and perspective view.

And the most exciting new RCZ of all? The RCZ R Concept, sporting a 260hp 1.6-litre THP that will see it become Peugeot’s most powerful production car ever. The specific output of 160hp/litre is among the highest of any road car in the world, yet Peugeot also reckons it’ll emit 155g/km CO2 and average more than 40mpg.

The matt black and copper livery purposefully ties in with the Onyx supercar also revealed at Paris, with further promise offered by a suitably ‘R’ chassis tune and standard Torsen limited slip differential. It’ll go on sale next year and looks to us like an interesting new entrant into the sports coupe sector. VW Scirocco R, watch out?

Want more PH news like this daily - then signup for the PH newsletter here!