One of many highlights at Frankfurt this year, is Peugeot’s RCZ 2+2 Coupe, which in 2007 at the same Frankfurt Motor Show, was just a concept car.
When you take into account its truly green characteristics, you may well be looking at a sports car from the future, for the here and now.
On sale in the Spring of 2010, the range topping RCZ will be powered by an all new 1.6-litre THP 147 kW/200 bhp engine, delivering up to 275 Nm (with overboost).
Now, don’t get all heated up and tell me that’s not enough power for a sports car, because when it’s a Peugeot 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine with a Twin-Scroll turbocharger, that’s more than adequate.
0-100km/h in 7.6 seconds certainly won’t take your breath away, but not all sports cars are about straight-line speed, and if Peugeot’s usual road holding talent has been dialled into the RCZ, then this will be a cracker of a drive.
To look at up close, it’s a very slippery shape with a double bubble roof, which makes for superb aerodynamics.
There’s also an active rear spoiler, which can be deployed in two positions depending on your speed, providing further stability but without compromising fuel consumption, so they say.
As you can imagine, the RCZ is all about efficiency and the environment, with emissions of just 165 g/km of CO2 from a combined fuel consumption of just 7.1 litres/100km from this high performance variant.
Peugeot is also keen to point out that the RCZ is part of its “lifestyle” direction and as such, there is plenty of room in the rear for kids and boot space of 384 litres or up to 760 litres, if you fold down rear seats.
And don’t worry about rear headroom if your son or daughter is an aspiring basketball player, the double bubble roof allows for plenty of headroom back there.
The entire facia panel is covered in a soft touch material, while the car on display, was trimmed in beautiful soft Nappa leather, which I found comfortable and luxurious.
I haven’t driven a Peugeot that didn’t have a premium audio system as standard kit, but this new WIP Com 3D multimedia system with JBL high–fi is another step up the ladder.
Compared to the 308 hatchbacks, the RCZ’s ride height has been lowered by 20mm, while the centre of gravity has been pushed down by 40mm.
It’s also clear when comparing both cars in the metal, that the front and rear tracks on the RCZ are substantially wider than the hatch sibling.
Larger tyres, either 18-inch or 19-inch are also fitted to further enhance the car’s road holding prowess.
Also on display was a very special version of the RCZ, the Hybrid4 Concept Car, powered by a 2.0-litre HDi FAP diesel engine at the front of the car, and an electric motor at the rear.
Although the car will use just 3.7 litres/100 km or a super green 95 g/km of CO2, maximum power output will be 147 kW with a staggering 300 Nm of torque at 1580 rpm.
RCZ owners will also be able to personalise their cars, with anything from a proper carbon roof to matt black wheels and carbon door mirrors.
I have no doubt whatsoever, that Peugeot’s RCZ will find plenty of homes in Australia.