Perhaps the better option would be the THP 200, which is quicker off the mark and altogether more powerful
The Peugeot RCZ is built on Peugeot's flexible platform 2; the same one that underpins the Peugeot 308, Peugeot 3008 and Peugeot 5008. Chosen for its high torsional rigidity, this platform offers great handling while reducing harshness and vibration. It certainly works and helped by the wide stance and low centre of gravity, it proves very agile while remaining impressively flat on fast bends. Sports suspension plays its part in this, as does the ESP and the intelligent traction control.
The Peugeot RCZ is also equipped with Hill Assist, while front and side curtain airbags are on hand to mitigate the damage should an accident occur. On that subject, I should point out that the car features an active bonnet that 'pings' the bonnet hinges in a collision, raising it by up to 55mm in just 0.1 second.
Engines were limited when the Peugeot RCZ was first launched earlier this year but now there is a full complement. The only diesel unit is the 2.0 HDi FAP with its variable geometry turbocharger and new ECCS combustion chamber (Extreme Conventional Combustion System). This is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox and produces 163bhp and 340Nm of torque.
This and the 1.6 THP 163 both come with gear shift indicators that prompt when its time to change gear for the best fuel economy. The 1.6-litre, turbocharged, petrol engine comes in two guises; the THP156 version with both manual and automatic transmissions and as the THP200 with a 6-speed manual 'box.
The Peugeot RCZ test car was driven by the THP156 through the manual gearbox, which offers an easy gear change with a fairly light clutch. This combination gives a top speed of 133mph after a 0-62mph dash of 8.3 seconds. This is one of the new units and produces 156bhp (158PS) at 5,800rpm and 240Nm of torque between 1,400- and 4,500rpm, which is impressive for a petrol engine. However, although it is quite sporty and responsive, I did find that it takes a while to get going and it seems quite reticent up to around 3,000rpm.
On the other hand, the fuel economy is pretty good, with official figures of 30.3mpg for the urban cycle, 54.3mpg for the extra-urban and the combined works out at 42.1mpg, with CO2 exiting the shiny twin tailpipes at the rate of 155g/km, putting it in VED Band G (£155). The automatic version emits 168g/km, Band H.
Next year there will be another power unit available; a Hybrid4, a combination of a 2.0-litre diesel engine and a 37bhp electric motor at the rear. It is said that the two combined will have a cumulative power of 200bhp, CO2 emissions of 95g/km and fuel economy of 76.3mpg.
But for now the Peugeot RCZ certainly attracts attention and is quite different from anything else on the road but I can't help feeling that it is all about the looks. Perhaps the better option would be the THP 200, which is quicker off the mark and altogether more powerful, it would complete the package, for me.25 August 2010
Peugeot RCZ Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Peugeot RCZ GT THP 156|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||8 Seconds|
|Top Speed||135 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||54.3 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 25/08/10)||£22,750|