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by Tim Beissmann

Update: Peugeot RCZ Review.

CarAdvice’s Alborz Fallah is at the launch of the 2010 Peugeot RCZ today and will post a review shortly.

Peugeot Australia has launched the 2010 Peugeot RCZ Sports Coupe, marking the beginning of a new design language for the French marque and a fresh assault at younger buyer demographic.

Initially unveiled three years ago at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show as a concept vehicle, the RCZ became the first Peugeot vehicle to abandon the zero/double zero central numbering system.

The RCZ goes on sale in Australia on October 1 in three different Euro V-compliant mechanical setups.

The only diesel in the range is a 2.0-litre HDi with 120kW and 340Nm of torque. It is available with a six-speed manual transmission only. Combined fuel consumption is a tidy 5.3 litres/100km and CO2 emissions average out to 139g/km. The sprint from 0-100km/h takes 8.2 seconds and the top speed is 220km/h.

Those in the market for petrol power have a choice of two 1.6-litre turbos: the 115kW/240Nm six-speed tiptronic automatic and the 147kW/275Nm six-speed manual. The manual outperforms the auto in most measures, including top speed (240km/h vs 212km/h), 0-100km/h sprint (7.5secs vs 8.4secs), combined fuel consumption (6.9 litres/100km vs 7.3 litres/100km) and CO2 emissions (159g/km vs 168g/km).

Peugeot is also planning a HYbrid4 version of the RCZ which would be based on the 3008 HYbrid4 SUV. That vehicle – which is powered by a 120kW 2.0-litre diesel engine in the front and a 27kW electric motor at the rear, and produces 95g/km CO2 – is due for a European launch around the middle of next year and is on Peugeot Australia’s wish list.

Visually, the RCZ is a real unique beauty, and was voted the Most Beautiful Car of the Year at the 2009 International Automobile Festival ahead of the BMW Z4, Citroen DS3 and the Nissan 370Z.

From the double-bubble roof and rear window to the step-down doors and wide aluminium bonnet, the RCZ is unlike anything ever produced by Peugeot. Other highlights include the blue-tinged directional bi-xenon headlamps, aluminium roof arches, 18in alloy wheels and the adjustable active rear spoiler which can be controlled from the centre console.

Inside, the RCZ is finished in a combination of Nappa leather other soft-touch materials, while the analogue clock follows an evolving fashion trend in today’s premium interior designs. The front sports seats are three-way electric adjustable while the two rear pews are referred to as “occasional seats” by Peugeot, who felt it necessary to add that they are “perfectly usable”.

The boot capacity, at 384 litres, is 94 litres larger than the RCZ’s obvious rival, the Audi TT, and expands to 760 litres with the “perfectly usable” back seat folded down.

Safety features include ESP, EBA, ABS, EDB, traction control and hill assist, as well as intelligent traction control on vehicles with manual transmissions for more sophistication on changeable road conditions like ice, snow and heavy rain. Front and side airbags are also fitted as standard.

Interior features include cruise control with speed limiter, front and rear parking assist, USB connectivity with hands-free Bluetooth, MP3-compatible CD player and six speakers.

Eight body colours will be offered in Australia: red, blue and black, as well as three greys and two whites.

Three personalisation packages will also be available from launch:

SPORTIF PACK ONE ($4000):

  • 19in “Sortilege” Matt Black Onyx wheels
  • Black painted brake calipers
  • Carbon roof in gloss finish
  • Black painted mirror shells (Perla Nera)
  • Black painted front grille (gloss)
  • Aluminium roof arches in black chrome finish
  • For body colours Opal White, Pearl White and Mercury Grey

SPORTIF PACK TWO ($4000):

  • 19in “Sortilege” Midnight Silver wheels
  • Black painted brake calipers
  • Carbon roof in gloss finish
  • Black painted mirror shells (Perla Nera)
  • Black painted front grille (gloss)
  • Aluminium roof arches in black chrome finish
  • For all other body colours

ELAN PACK ($3000):

  • 19in “Solstice” Black Onyx wheels
  • Carbon roof in satin finish
  • Black painted mirror shells (Perla Nera)
  • Black painted front grille (gloss).

All three variants of the 2010 Peugeot RCZ start at $54,990.




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