Peugeot has been on something of a performance offensive recently. Seemingly wanting to prove it is capable of reaching the same heights it did with the legendary 205 GTI, it has not only recently launched that car’s successor – the 208 GTI – but has also announced it is to unveil a performance iteration of its stylish RCZ Coupe.
Called the RCZ R, it keeps the sleek French styling and 2+2 cabin of the standard car, but adds a welcome dose of power. Fitted with a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine, it develops 260bhp – making it the most powerful production road car in the company’s history.
Despite the power, Peugeot has not sacrificed economy or cleanliness, with CO2 emissions expected to be around 155g/km. This means that under the current rules it would cost £175 a year to tax.
To further increase the RCZ R’s appeal to keen drivers, Peugeot has tinkered with the suspension, and fitted a Torsen limited slip differential – a device which deploys power to whichever front wheel has the most grip, for maximum traction out of corners.
Thankfully, the designers have not fallen into the trap of fitting overtly aggressive body addenda in an attempt to show off the car’s increased performance potential; limiting themselves to a subtle boot-lip spoiler, twin-exhaust tailpipes and a revised front grille, for a discreetly menacing aesthetic.
The RCZ R will be shown turning a wheel for the first time at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, taking part in the hill climb event for which the festival is famous.
Prices have yet to be confirmed, but the RCZ R will be available in UK showrooms towards the end of the year.
If you can't wait that long, the standard RCZ is already available. You can browse for it, along with other models in the Peugeot range here.