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Peugeot RCZ R revealed ahead of Goodwood

Power and passion returns to Peugeot as it prepares a coupe claimed to be its most powerful road car. Finally receiving the performance potential to suit its slippery shape, the RCZ R this week breaks cover in England at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Built by Peugeot Sport and poised for its official public debut at September's Frankfurt motor show, the RCZ R is boosted to 200kW/330Nm for a maximum speed of 250km/h (electronically limited), a 0-100km/h time of 5.9 seconds, the 400m standing start in 14.2 seconds and 1000m in 25.4 seconds.

The R is based on the facelifted RCZ coupe launched in Australia in May that has a similar 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine -- shared with the Peugeot 208 GTi and the Mini Cooper S among other cars --  with a 147kW/275Nm output.

But to squeeze out the higher outputs for the RCZ R, many engine parts are evolutions or complete redevelopments from the original. The new engine is reinforced by heat treatment prior to machining to improve durability.

The twin-scroll turbo has been developed specifically to benefit from an ideal design for this application and this level of performance. The steel exhaust manifold has a unique architecture inspired by racing systems to cope with higher temperatures.

New pistons, providing a compression ratio of 9.2:1, were developed with Mahle Motorsport, taking a forged structure and a grade of aluminium used in Formula 1. They are cooled by two oil jets.

The conrods are specified to withstand continued use at high engine  speeds and have bearings covered with a polymer coating that can withstand the higher cylinder pressures. This coating, patented in 2011 and developed by Mahle, are a world first in the RCZ R.

Getting the Peugeot up to speed has  seen the R gain a Torsen differential for more grip, a fixed rear spoiler (the current model has a retractable wing), a 17kg weight cut, 10mm lower ride height and a leather and alcantara cabin.


The R version is identified by matte black roof arches, rear spoiler, its lower stance than the standard RCZ and the 19-inch two-tone allo y wheels. It has a wider track than the standard car and suspension with retuned dampers, increased spring stiffness and a stiffer anti-roll bar while the wheels are designed to accommodate and cool the bigger 380mm brakes.

The car also has a new rear diffuser that supports two chromed exhaust pipes. A Peugeot monogrammed R in red lettering is on the grille and boot lid as a signature RCZ R. Upgrades over the standard RCZ extend to the cabin, with Peugeot Sport embossed sills, red stitching on t he dashboard and leather upholstery and trim. The steering wheel has a smaller diameter, the manual gear shifter is shorter and the leather and alcantara seats have an ``R'' monogram.


The coupe this week made its international debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed though won't be officially unveiled until the Frankfurt show. It goes on sale early 2014.  Peugeot has yet to confirm the car for the Australian line up, or talk about prices. But with a $6000 discount to nearest Euro-rival the Audi TT, the R may represent a stronger alternative.

Peugeot project manager for the RCZ R, Budar Pierre, says the development of the car evolved through a race-bred program.  ``This included the design and specification of the drivetrain, gearbox, brakes and tyres beyond the usual criteria, in order to allow the most enthusiastic drivers to perform,'' he says.

This reporter is on Twitter: @cg_dowling


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