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by Daniel DeGasperi

After being spied last week, the Peugeot RCZ R has been unveiled ahead of its first public outing at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and formal debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

The most powerful production Peugeot ever, the RCZ R scores the regular car’s 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which is reworked to deliver 199kW of power at 6000rpm, and 330Nm of torque over an astonishingly broad 1900-5500rpm.

Changes to the engine include a steel exhaust manifold “inspired by racing systems” that can also withstand higher temperatures, new motorsport-developed forged alloy pistons, and polymer-coated piston bearings.

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RCZ R drops 17kg compared with the regular model, weighing 1280kg, or about the same as a Renault Sport Clio. The Peugeot RCZ R claims a 5.9 second 0-100km/h – down from 7.5 seconds for the regular 147kW 1.6 turbo RCZ – with the standing 400 metres covered in 14.2 seconds.

Despite the performance boost, claimed combined economy for the Peugeot RCZ R is actually 0.6L/100km less than the standard model, at 6.3L/100km.

Although the lithe coupe remains front-wheel drive, the RCZ R gets 10mm lower suspension and utilises a Torsen mechanical limited-slip differential to improve mid-corner power down. Currently the Renault Sport Megane is the only affordable hot hatch to utilise a front LSD; rivals such as the Golf GTI and Focus ST electronically brake a spinning inside wheel, which is a cheaper but less effective substitute for a proper LSD.

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Tyres are upgraded to 235/45 19-inch Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymettrics, while braking improves with larger 380mm discs mounted on an alloy hub.

A new fixed rear boot spoiler improves aerodynamic performance,  while also aiding visual differentation with the standard car.

Other external signifiers of the RCZ R are matt black roof arches and alloys, with ‘R’ central logo, a rear diffuser with split-twin exhausts, and red brake callipers with ‘Peugeot Sport’ badging.

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That badging extends inside on the door sills of the Peugeot RCZ R.

Red stitching for the leather topped dashboard combine with ‘R’-embossed Nappa leather/alcantara sports buckets, a brushed aluminium certification plate, alumunium gearknob and smaller steering wheel diameter as other differentiators.

Four colours are available – moroccan red, nera black, mercury grey and opal white – with a range of custom-made satin or gloss carbon roof treatments, and decal designs available.

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Peugeot has confirmed the RCZ R will go on sale in Australia from March 2014 in limited numbers, likely to be no more than 40 per year.

Peugeot Australia general manager Bill Gillespie said the local division was very excited to even be considered to have a share in what will be a limited production run of the RCZ R.

“This is an indication of the importance of the Australian market to Automobiles Peugeot in Paris,” Gillespie said.

“We expect the RCZ-R will be a halo car and will be highly collectable due to the limited number that will come to Australia each year. We also expect that the car will attract Peugeot loyalists but also other customers that may have not previously considered the brand.”

Local specifications and prices are still to be finalised, however the RCZ R is expected to demand a $15,000-$20,000 premium over the standard RCZ’s $58,990 list price.




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