Previewed in 2007 at the Frankfurt Motor Show by the 308 RCZ Concept, the Peugeot RCZ is the first Peugeot passenger car not to use the brand’s traditional numbering system with a zero or two zeros in the middle. It is also the first true Peugeot sports car set to compete with models like Audi TT.
Only 1.36 meters tall the RCZ sports car offers interior room for 2+2 people, with exterior design taken almost entirely for the concept car: the same double bubble roof (which can be ordered in carbon fiber), while the front windscreen, black roof and dark-tinted rear windscreen ensure a visual continuity strikingly set off by two
aluminum roof arches.
At its launch the RCZ will be available with a choice of three engines: 1.6-litre THP petrol turbo delivering 156bhp and 240Nm of torque, a diesel 2.0-litre HDi FAP that delivers 163 hp and 340 NM of torque, and top of the line a 1.6-litre THP with 200 hp. The engines can be mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.
The RCZ can be ordered with either 18-inch or 19-inch wheels, McPherson type front suspension, ESP, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Peugeot Connect 3D multimedia system, JBL hi-fi system, Peugeot Connect USB box and Nappa integral leather trim on the interior.
Press release after the jump.
More than just a concept car which has become a reality, the RCZ marks a new chapter in the history of Peugeot “lifestyle vehicles”. Its expressive and innovative styling, its luxurious interior, its effi cient and environmentally- friendly engines and the driving enjoyment they create will project the Marque into a future which promises to be more exciting than ever.
Drawing inspiration from the passion and know-how of its designers and engineers, Peugeot instills its brand values in every vehicle it manufactures. Sometimes however, freed from constraints and fi red by creativity, Peugeot takes a bold new step and introduces “lifestyle” vehicles that are truly exceptional. The latter always arouses emotion, inspiring admiration among motoring enthusiasts and immense pride on the part of their makers.
Certain concept cars exhibited at international motor shows also follow this example. Sometimes their power of attraction is so great that the desire to see them take to the road becomes unstoppable.
As a result in September 2007, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Peugeot unveiled an exercise in style that left no observer unmoved: the 308 RCZ concept car. The idea of marketing the car on a commercial basis quickly became a reality.
However, the transformation from concept car to production vehicle required real determination, boldness and inventiveness qualities for which the manufacturer is renowned.
Stylists and engineers worked together to ensure that all of the vehicle’s specifi cation lived up to the promise of its exterior styling.
Indeed while the main aim was to conserve the stylistic blueprint of the concept, despite the considerable constraints imposed by its production and commercialisation, the challenge went much further. Highly ambitious targets were fixed in terms of driveability and production quality, to give the car its own strong and unmistakable identity.
This compact 2+2 coupé was, therefore, designed to become an exclusive vehicle, “something special”, a melting pot of emotions, aimed at modern and particularly demanding customers with expert opinions on what constitutes driving pleasure.
Its name, RCZ, symbolises this distinctive and singular positioning in relation to the Peugeot range, since it is the first passenger vehicle not to use the numbering system with a central “zero” or “double zero”.
The RCZ therefore illustrates the sum of Peugeot values, which are constantly realigned with the times. Designed to enhance the sheer enjoyment of driving, the RCZ is also dynamic (the top of the range model features an all new 1.6 litre THP 147 kW/200 bhp engine), and responsible, offering an innovative blend of performance and environmental-friendliness. With its reduced weight, fi ne-tuned aerodynamics and modern engine technology, the entry level model has CO2 emissions of only 139 g/km.
An extension of this thinking is the RCZ equipped with HYbrid4 technology which will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. This RCZ is based on the same power train as the 3008 HYbrid4 which will be available in Spring 2011: a 2.0 litre HDi FAP 120 kW (163bhp) in front and a 27 kW (37bhp) electric motor at the rear. This concept has emissions of only 95 g/km of CO2 whilst benefi ting from a potential of 147kW (200bhp) and four wheel drive.
This reflects Peugeot’s wish to offer this type of technology on different vehicles in its range; vehicles which can be very different (crossover, coupé) which may be based on different platforms but with a common theme: to offer renewed driving enjoyment. Another challenge the project faced was to successfully develop this new vehicle within a particularly short time span. With this in mind, it was decided the vehicle would be assembled at a production centre that specialises in exclusive vehicles built in small production runs, inside the Magna Steyr plant in Graz, Austria. As a result, just two years after being exhibited as a concept car, the RCZ will be unveiled for the first time in public, in its definitive form, at the 63rd Frankfurt Motor Show.
Sculptural, dynamic and elegant, the style of the RCZ offers new harmonious and vibrant proportions based on a compact and original three-compartment coupé architecture.
The “double bubble” of the roof and rear windscreen is not only a remarkable feat of engineering, but also the stylistic signature of a car in which every detail evokes an overwhelming sense of quality and expressiveness. The front windscreen, black roof and dark-tinted rear windscreen ensure a visual continuity strikingly set off by two aluminium roof arches. From the side, its unique profi le creates an original continuity between the plunging design of the front and the fl owing lines of the rear of the car.
The front feline look, a characteristic of the Manufacturer, the soft contours of the wings and the large diameter wheels, the spoiler and ruby-red LED rear lights with their crystal look create a general appearance that combines sensuality and power, technology and distinction.
Lastly, the vehicle’s proportions (1.36 m high) and the beautifully designed lines of the body with its double bubble roof, optimises air flow to create superb aerodynamics. The active rear spoiler also contributes to the car’s aerodynamic efficiency: it can be deployed in two positions according to the speed of the car, to ensure an ideal balance between road holding and fuel consumption.
The passenger compartment of the RCZ instantly immerses the driver in a subtly elitist ambience echoing the world of motorsport. “Getting into” the vehicle, the driver discovers an ergonomic driving position, ideal for enjoying the road-holding qualities of the RCZ: the wraparound seats with their integral head restraints fit like a glove around the front occupants, and all controls are easily within reach of the driver’s hands.
The fluid and streamlined design of the fascia panel follows the steeply inclined style that has won many plaudits in the manufacturer’s latest models, and here fi ts perfectly into the distinctive world of this coupé. The use of high quality materials combines with the elegant contours to enhance the refi ned overall atmosphere. Beneath the eye line of the driver, mirroring the clock located in the centre of the fascia panel, the instrument panel dials are contained in metal cases, with photo-etched, back-lit markings.
The fascia panel is covered entirely with an innovative soft feel material, hi-tech in appearance and very elegant. The customer can also choose from several different colours, including a Nappa integral leather trim (a luxurious thick leather with a particularly fi ne, smooth grain).
This interior, its elegance enhanced by the range of hi-tech equipment it can accommodate (new WIP Com 3D multimedia system, JBL™ Hi-fi system, USB connector on all versions, etc, ...), is also versatile, allowing users to adapt to any situation.
RCZ is the first passenger vehicle not to use the numbering system with a central “zero” or “double zero”
For example, for a long weekend, the boot offers a capacity of 384 litres (321 dm3 according to the VDA standard) added to which are storage spaces under the floor. There is potential to increase this capacity further by folding the rear seat backs down, which gives a maximum boot volume of 760 litres (639 dm3 VDA). Finally, it offers two occasional seats, fully sculpted and perfectly usable, especially since the design of the roof with its double bubble offers extra headroom to these occasional rear passengers.
In 2010, three engines will find their place under the large aluminium bonnet of the RCZ. High-performance engines in every sense of the term: generous torque and power, low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions and compliance with the Euro 5 standard. These environmental concerns were one of the project’s key priorities, constituting a modern and responsible approach for a vehicle in this segment.
1.6 litre THP 147 kW (200 bhp) BVM6
200 bhp, 0 to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds, low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions and compliance with the Euro 5 standard
This all new engine (which will appear in the summer of 2010) allows the car’s chassis to fulfil its true potential. With its maximum torque of 255 Nm at 1700 rpm (or 275 with overboost) and a maximum power of 147 kW at 5800 rpm, the RCZ benefi ts from dynamic acceleration (80 to 120 kph in 6.5 seconds in fifth gear); 0 to 100 kph in 7.6 seconds) while its fuel consumption does not exceed 7.1 litres/100 km in the combined cycle (less than 165 g/km of CO2).
For this purpose, this 4-cylinder engine with a capacity of 1598 cm3 combines all of the most recent technology to create a world fi rst: Twin-Scroll turbocharger for performance and instant response at very low engine speeds, direct petrol injection, and variable valve lift coupled with variable valve timing on the intake and exhaust camshafts (VTi technology), for reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The “sound of the engine” during acceleration has also been optimised through the specifi c development of the engine acoustics. Using Sound System technology a different sound is created according to the engine speed. Just like a musical instrument, a vibrating diaphragm delivers a controlled sound output which is amplifi ed by an acoustic duct, this results in a sound level that remains constant over long journeys.
1.6 litre THP 115 kW (156 bhp) BVM6 or BVA6
This turbocharged direct-injection petrol engine achieves a remarkable synthesis between performance (240 Nm from 1400 rpm and 115 kW at 5800 rpm) and fuel consumption (6.9 litres/100 km; 159 g/km of CO2 with a manual gearbox). It will also be available from the summer of 2010, in association with an all new 6-speed sequential automatic gearbox.
2.0 litre HDi FAP 120 kW (163 bhp) BVM6
With a capacity of 1997 cm3, this engine – launched this year – develops a maximum power of 120 kW at 3750 rpm and a generous maximum torque of 340 Nm at 2000 rpm. To obtain this level of performance it has a new generation ECCS (Extreme Convent ional Combust ion System) combustion chamber, a variable-geometry low-inertia turbocharger, a high-pressure pump allowing a pressure of 2000 bar in the common rail and solenoid injectors with eight apertures. This engine gives free rein to the RCZ’s potential in terms of road holding while limiting its fuel consumption to only 5.4 litres/100 km in the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 139 g/km.
The renowned “passion” which Peugeot gives to its cars here acquires its full meaning. Based on the manufacturer’s know-how in terms of driveability and road holding, the aim of the RCZ is to take the notion of driving pleasure to new heights.
The RCZ benefits fundamentally from a highly efficient suspension set-up developed from the marque’s other platform two vehicles (McPherson type front suspension and rear torsion beam). In addition, the car’s ride height and centre of gravity have been lowered by 20 mm and 40 mm respectively compared to a 308 Hatchback. Furthermore, compared to the latter, the RCZ is wider (+ 30 mm) with wider front and rear tracks (+ 54 mm and + 72 mm). The suspension and dampers have been adapted accordingly and, with the addition of wider tyres (18’’ ou 19’’ !), the end result is road holding of the very highest order. Lastly, when the RCZ is equipped with the THP 147 kW (200 bhp) engine, the front axle incorporates a special lower anti-roll bar to make the car even more responsive and agile, while at the same time guaranteeing remarkable effi ciency.
The hydraulic power steering is designed to offer accuracy of the highest order and excellent responsiveness. Braking, meanwhile, is powerful and durable and is assured by generously dimensioned ventilated discs with a diameter of 302 mm and a thickness of 26 mm on the 1.6 litre THP 147 kW (200 bhp) engine notably of 340x30mm. All models are equipped with rear brake discs with a diameter of 290x12 mm.
To facilitate manoeuvres on steep gradients, all versions of the RCZ come with Hill Assist. This function is coupled as standard with ESP which, except on versions with an automatic gearbox, includes an intelligent traction control system (a sophisticated ASR which automatically adapts the traction of both front wheels according to the available grip levels), and of course dynamic stability control (DSC), electronic brake force distribution (EBFD) and emergency brake assist (EBA). The DSC, ASR and EBA functions can be disconnected simultaneously (ESP Off) so that experienced and demanding drivers can fully exploit the car’s capabilities.
EMOTION À LA CARTE
So that every customer can make their car unique, the RCZ lays great store on personalisation, to keep within the vehicle’s exclusive positioning. The range includes: a real carbon roof, roof arches in different colours (black chrome, “sand”), a range of 18 and 19’’ alloy wheels in several finishes (matt black, dark grey, diamanté), black lacquered body parts at the front, carbon door mirror shells, bodywork decorations, etc. These elements of personalisation can be ordered at the time of purchase and will be available individually or grouped together.
In addition to primary safety assured by the excellent road holding, secondary safety, which benefi ts from a particularly optimised structure and effi cient means of restraint, also includes an active bonnet which “pops-up” due to a pyrotechnic triggering system and limits the degree of injury a pedestrian is likely to suffer in the event of a collision.
In terms of tertiary safety, Peugeot will be deploying in 2010 at no extra cost throughout the RCZ range – a world first – a range of call services including Peugeot Assistance and Peugeot Emergency. The latter, launched in 2003 on Peugeot telematic systems, has already assisted nearly 3,000 people by pinpointing the location of their vehicle in the event of an incident and arranging the dispatch of the appropriate emergency services. In keeping with the RCZ philosophy of personalised offers, these services, operational today in eight European countries, will be accessible free of charge and for an unlimited period not only on vehicles equipped with WIP Com 3D, but also with WIP Sound thanks to the adoption of a “localised communication unit” system.