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Peugeot RCZ

Peugeot RCZ Published: 24th Jun 2019 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Peugeot RCZ
Peugeot RCZ
Peugeot RCZ
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If you’re after a modern coupé that’s possibly better – as well as cheaper – than an Audi TT then pick this Peugeot for all round perfection

The Capri showed 50 years ago what could be achieved by dressing up a humble family hack in prettier clothes and, apart from Vauxhall’s Calibra of the 1990s, there’s never been a true successor in terms of a wow factor.

Or is there – but we’ve never given Peugeot’s RCZ much thought? Based on the 308 as a concept design, this potential Capri replacement not only takes this tried and tested recipe into the New Millennium but the French carmaker plopped on a simply stunning supercar-looking body to create one of the best modern coupés ever.

Launched a decade ago and dropped far too soon after only six years, the radical RCZ is as easy to buy and own as a normal 308 but also has the performance prowess to match that appearance and all for considerably under £6000.

The RCZ is essentially a rebody of the 308CC (Coupé Cabriolet) itself a sort of modern Sunbeam Rapier. But with the supercar looks come a more cutting character although there are frugal diesel versions and four trim levels to choose from.

Not a classic yet and prices are dropping apart from the searing limited run RCZ R.

Dates to remember

2009 Car is launched at Frankfurt show but not in the showrooms until April 2010. It’s based upon 308CC with three trim levels – Sport and GT and trio of engines: a 1.6 THP unit (156bhp), 2-litre (197bhp) and a 2-litre HPI diesel, good for 163bhp. The GT models also benefit from better trim and an improved front suspension sitting on fatter 19inch wheels.

2013 General facelif,and important new additions the chief one being the flagship RCZ R which has less weight, a specially tuned 1.6 270bhp engine, dedicated Alcon brakes and a Torsen differential. Only 300 came to the UK as opposed to some 12,000 in general. A (Sportbased) Red Carbon trim also joins the range which include special editions such as Asphalt (only 75 sold in the UK), Allure, Brownstone (Germany only) and Magnetic, the latter exclusive to the UK.

Buying advice

Know what you’re buying. Apart from trim and special editions there’s also a gaggle of personalisation packs to contend with.

Being a modern, bodywork issues will be down to poor accident repairs although check for bumper and alloy wheel damage but the novel glass roof bubble design should be fine – check for scratching though. Inside, examine the leather seat trim for inevitable wear and tear.

Mechanically, it depends on how the RCZ has been driven and serviced although, naturally, the R will the worst affected. Turbos on all will wear out and old oil can affect performance while petrol engines are known for timing chain noise.

Gearbox can give trouble with poor changes and, on 1.6s, water ingress. Noisy, clonking suspensions are not unknown and there’s been some electrical issues. RCZ suffered three recalls, the most serious being front brake hoses in 2010; see that everything has been rectified. Later cars are the best sorted.

What makes this classic so special to drive and own?

The RCZ has more than enough behind-the-wheel-thrills to match those jawdropping looks. All are fast, even the gutsy diesel, but some experts (and there’s an excellent RCZ Forum for help and advice) feel that the 1.6 engine is the best driving car as it feels sportier whereas the higher-geared 2-litre lacks its eagerness – the RCZ R is a sensation and a future classic. For enthusiasts, the GT is the better version thanks to its much improved chassis (revised subframe plus an extra bracing body bar) and snappier gearchange; the diesels aren’t at all bad to be fair but not as agile.

Best buys & prices

There’s no shortage of choice so be picky and decide first and foremost what you want from an RCZ. Those with an eye on potential classic investment (which apart from the R model) is some way off should steer towards a 1.6 THP 200 GT model with some desirable options. Prices can start from less than £6000 but may be well used – best to budget from £8000 for a later example. You are going to have to find another ten grand for an RCZ R and prices have already broken the 20 grand barrier. We can see diesel RCZs devaluing notably.

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