The Peugeot RCZ is a very flash car, its sibling, the RCZ R is even flashier.
The RCZ has long been one of my favourite sports cars, so I wasn’t quite sure how I’d take to the faster, more powerful R model. Would it ruin my memory of the beautiful Batmobile?
I’m delighted to say, the answer is no.
The RCZ R is the most powerful production car Peugeot has ever made – the R stands for racing. From the moment you sit into the low slung huggy sports seats, you know you’re in something special.
A word of warning though, you need to be fairly sprightly to get out of and in to this car with any degree of elegance. It’s the kind of car that, if you’re not careful, you fall into, and have to pull yourself out of.
Although it does have four seats, of sorts, in reality this two-door coupe is really only a two seater.
Front seat occupants will find comfortable leg and head room, but the two in the back are really only fit for a baby seat, or small children.
I’m 5ft 5in and I could just about fit in the back seat – with my knees angled over to the transmission tunnel and my head actually touching the sloping glass roof.
In keeping with the Batmobile theme (look at the roof if you’re confused), the interior in the test car was dark and compact, with beautiful branded leather sports seats and soft touch leather finishes and red stitching all round. The centre console is extended, compartmentalising the front seats.
Unusually for new Peugeots, the steering wheel in this car is not of the small variety, but it is flat-bottomed.
Infotainment in this car is provided largely via the Peugeot Connect Navigation system, which features audio, CD and SatNav. There’s also USB and Bluetooth streaming.
I found it easy to pair my phone with the system and the sound quality was really good.
An analog clock in the centre console adds an extra touch of class.
While the rear seats are to some extent wasted space, the boot is a revelation – it’s absolutely huge, in part to allow for a potential future hybrid version.
The RCZ R has a bulbous type of shape and is wider than it feels so front and rear parking sensors were welcome.
With double exhausts, a rear spoiler and glass roof this distinctive car is absolutely stunning to view. However, it’s no good having a gorgeous looking car if it doesn’t feel good behind the wheel.
Luckily, the RCZ R also delivers in this department. With a 1.6-litre 270bhp turbo petrol engine and a 0-100kph time of 5.9seconds, the RCZ-R is fast and powerful.
It glides along city streets, its engine emitting a beautiful low growl, and is equally smooth on the motorway.
This six-speed manual model is fast at the lights and great at fast-getaway roundabouts.
The engine noise is wonderful as you work through the smooth gears.
As you’d expect from a low slung sports car, high speed ramps are not its friend. Suspension is on the firm side, so bockety roads are not the most comfortable either.
The weather was atrocious during our test week so we feared greatly that the wet and windy weather would quell our enjoyment of this performance car on the mountains – but it didn’t.
It’s fast and surefooted, handling extremely well and gripping the rolling mountain roads and powering up the more challenging ones.
With a price tag in excess of €50,000, this car is pricey but it has a lot going for it. It’s a head-turner – stunning to look at, stunning to drive and it will definitely make you feel good.
The Peugeot RCZ R is available now, with prices starting from €53,655. However, if you simply want the look rather than the power, the Peugeot RCZ Sport Diesel is available from €41,595.
Engine: 1.6 THP 270bhp petrol
Acceleration: 0-100kph in 5.9seconds
Maximum Speed: 250kph (limited)
CO2 emissions: 145g/km
Combined fuel economy: 6.3l/100km
Annual road tax: €390