By Hugh Maguire
Now I can think of a number of fantastic cars that do just that. Take the Porsche 911, or Audi R8, for example.
Let’s face it, very few of us can afford one of those. So how about a car that delivers in all of the above areas but costs under €40k?
The stunning new Peugeot RCZ is such a car! Bristling with the latest automotive technology and blending aluminium, carbon and leather to create a unique looking sports coupe the new RCZ is a real headturner.
It is quite simply a stunning looking coupe with wonderful swoops and curves, bold lines, bulging wheel arches and a very cab forward design style. Many admirers that saw the car during my road test likened it somewhat to the Audi TT, but I think it is way better looking and actually makes the TT look dated! This is one of the best looking coupes around.
Behind The Wheel
Once again the cabin of the new Peugeot RCZ coupe is a masterpiece of good design. The style, build quality and ergonomics of the cabin are beyond reproach. The sports seats, with full leather trim which by the way extends to the dashboard all looks and feels top quality. The level of standard equipment is excellent, and apart from the obvious electric windows and so on includes, a superb stereo system with aux port and MP3 compatibility, cruise control, auto lights, auto wipers, climate control, electric memory seats, Bluetooth, on board computer, and much more. Safety is also to the fore with multiple airbags, ABS, DSC, ESP, and an “active bonnet” a device which aims to reduce injuries to pedestrians in the event of an accident. The new Peugeot RCZ is marketed by Peugeot as a two+two coupe, but to be honest it’s a two seater with the two tiny rear seats only suitable for occasional use by maybe very young children. The boot is quite surprisingly pretty good.
There are three engines available. Two petrol, and one turbo diesel, a 1.6 200bhp turbo and a 1.6 156 bhp turbo. Both these units are available on special order. The most popular unit and the one available without special order is a 2.0 litre Hdi 163 bhp turbo diesel mated to a slick 6-speed gearbox. Top speed is claimed to be around 220km/h with the benchmark 0 to 100km taking 8.2 seconds.
I found this to be a lovely powerplant with bags of power, great mid range torque and it is also mean on diesel burning just 7.5 litres per 100km during my road test.
Overall performance really is lively and interestingly Peugeot have managed to add a rather nice exhaust note to the car despite it being diesel powered. By the way it costs just €156 per annum to tax.
Peugeots have always handled very well and the new RCZ is no exception. In true sports coupe fashion it corners flatly with little or no body roll, and maintains limpet like grip in corners. From the driver’s point of view I found it proved to be a very rewarding car to drive. The RCZ proves nimble and agile and constantly keeps the driver in touch with what the car is doing through nicely weighted steering. Refinement levels are high with all ambient noise well suppressed.
The new Peugeot RCZ looks like it should cost about 50 grand! It is a stunning piece of automotive design, is generously equipped and really does prove a rewarding drive.
Sure its not powered by a 3.6 litre flat six petrol like a 911 but it has plenty of useable power and will not cost the earth to own or indeed buy, as you can lay your hands on a new RCZ for €37,395.
In short I loved It!
Every once in a while a car comes along that really stirs your soul, a car that puts the driver first, a car that looks beautiful, drives superbly and quite simply puts a smile on your face every time you drive it.