PARIS 2012: PEUGEOT RCZ R AND 208 GTI
The other French hot hatch comeback and its coupe partner in crime...
In the world of sporting coupés, the equivalent of Federer is the Audi TT, a true icon and one of the most enduring cars in any sector. Few rivals have had the guts to challenge it, and none (RCZ included) have bested it - a shame really, because the RCZ is by no means a bad car.
‘concept’ RCZ R, which is pretty sure to graduate to reality sometime next year.
Will it have the game to dethrone the TT? Well, it will certainly have decent power, with 260bhp (60bhp more than today’s fastest RCZ) from Peugeot’s feisty little 1.6-litre THP turbo. There’ll be a new Torsen differential and revised suspension to put the power down, plus styling tweaks to show TT owners what they’re up against, including a new grille and headlamps (with DRLs), new body colours, and new wheel designs.
The key spec points of the 208 GTI - 1,160kg, 200hp, 203lb ft, 0-62mph in under seven seconds, £18,995 – make for a decent-sounding package. That price will certainly make it look attractive against the Mk 7 Golf GTI that’ll also be out next year. You may say that the VW is in a class of its own, and it is quite literally in the class above the 208, but size is less important than sporting appeal in the hot hatch milieu, and even the mighty can fall – as Andy Murray’s opponents have found.
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