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by Alex Gibson

The upcoming Peugeot RCZ R has been spotted in France without camouflage for the first time.

The blurry photograph, taken by a reader of French website Auto Journal, shows that the production Peugeot RCZ R closely mirrors the concept revealed at last year’s Paris motor show.

The car appears to share that concept’s wheel design and dual exhaust, although it lacks the show car’s rather fetching matte black finish, and features a fixed rear wing, unlike the regular RCZ’s retractable unit.

When it is released, the RCZ R will be most powerful Peugeot ever, equipped with the firm’s existing 1.6 litre turbocharged petrol engine, but with power boosted to around 194kW, 47kW more than the regular RCZ. This will place it in direct contention with Volkswagen’s Scirocco R and the Renault Mgane RS265.

It will also feature bespoke sports suspension and a Torsen limited-slip front differential.

The regular RCZ already starts at $58,990, several thousand dollars higher than the VW and Renault, meaning a higher price-point can be expected for the racy RCZ R.

The car is expected to be unveiled in production-ready form at next month’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in England, before going on sale at the end of this year.

Only then will we know if it will retain the contrasting copper roofline and brakes callipers of the concept, also shared by the 507kW Onyx concept.