This hotter RCZ, the RCZ R, surely looks mean enough in its matt black and copper colour scheme, and thanks to some pretty intense upgrades to the RCZ’s usual THP (Turbo High Pressure), 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder petrol motor, the tough new R packs the 260bhp potency to match its menace. That’s a full 160bhp/litre of grunt, ranking this motor among the most powerful of production engines in the world.
Efficiency is also important to Peugeot and while full economy figures for the RCZ R aren’t yet available, the feisty French brand are looking for around 155g/km of CO2 coming from this car’s double-exit stainless steel tailpipe. That’s impressive for a car that should hit 62mph in around 6 seconds.
To match up the engine performance, the RCZ R also features critical mechanical modifications, most notably to the front-wheel drive system that now benefits from the Torsen limited slip differential. As the power grows in front-wheel drive cars, these clever differentials really make a difference, and while this car also has reworked suspension and brakes, the differential will make the biggest difference for tighter cornering lines.
Having driven the current hottest RCZ – the 200bhp petrol and 163bhp diesel – this writer can confirm that they are nicely nippy and corner with an exciting flatness of body and directness of steering. With the extra 60bhp, better differential and enhanced suspension, the RCZ R should be a real blast. The only issue for some with the standard RCZs is a stiff suspension set up that can get confused and choppy over really rough roads. This most likely – and hopefully – will have been tuned out for RCZ R, leaving a only the enjoyment of a quick and composed cornerer behind.
Peugeot will have a couple of red RCZ Rs on their stand at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, and the cars will be showing off their dynamic goods and the famous Goodwood hill-climb course in the hands of professional drivers. If they go and sound as good as they look it’ll surely whet the appetite of the faster Peugeot fans out there.
Pricing has yet to be confirmed for the RCZ R. It will of course be more costly than the stock RCZ, but what price power, exclusively and performance? All these crucial numbers will be announced closer to the car’s UK launch towards the end of the year.
By Dan Anslow