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Peugeot RCZ R manual 2014 review

EXPERT RATING
8
Chris Riley road tests and reviews the 2014 Peugeot RCZ R.

The standard RCZ is a heard turner, but the tweaked RCZ R not only gets the looks but has the performance to match, with enough grunt to take the car into a new league.

The RCZ R boxes way above its weight, with the kind of attraction normally reserved for supercars and Alfa Romeos.

VALUE

Priced from $68,990 Peugeot is offering just 30 examples of this firebrand here in Australia, so you had better be quick.

Standard equipment includes leather, satnav, front and rear parking sensors, sports leather trimmed steering wheel, automatic lights and wipers, 19 inch alloys and twin sports exhaust. 

DESIGN

Wow. The sleek exterior is matched by the race-inspired cabin, which features red highlights to distinguish it from the standard car. A large, cool analogue style clock dominates the dash, with trim that is a mix of leather, carbon-fibre and brushed metal finishes.

An aluminium plaque between the seats is embossed with the Peugeot Sport signature, a motif that is repeated on the seat backs and aluminium door sills. A 208 GTi-style aluminium gearknob with red collars adorns the shift lever with red stitching on the dashboard, gear lever cover, sports steering wheel, central armrest as well as the door armrest. 

ENGINE / TRANSMISSION

This is the most powerful version yet of the 1.6-litre four cylinder engine that not only powers the RCZ, but also Peugeot's 208 GTi, the Citroen DS3 and of course the Mini.

The big difference is that this one puts out 199kW of power and 330Nm of torque, compared to Mini's Grand Prix Edition that only manages 160kW/280Nm. To point out the bleedingly obvious - that's a rather large difference. 

How do they do it? The go-fast guys at Peugeot Sport have rebuilt and reinforced the engine and added a larger twin-scroll turbocharger, as well as forged Mahle aluminium pistons, stronger conrods and bearings combined with larger extractors and a unique twin exhaust system.

The end result is a car that accelerates a full half second faster than the best Mini can muster, with the dash from 0-100km/h taking just 5.9 seconds. You get all this with fuel consumption that is rated at just 6.3 litres/100km.

SAFETY

Five stars thank you very much, BUT it has only four airbags. The pedestrian friendly bonnet pops up in an accident and it comes with electronic traction and stability control, ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), hill assist function, cruise control and speed limiter and speed sensitive power steering. 

DRIVING

It sounds too good to be true on paper but we were delighted to find it lived up to the promise out on the road. The RCZ R rides on 19-inch alloys, with 10mm lower suspension and shocks that were developed in-house just like the old days.

The front end is 14 per cent stiffer, the rear 44 per cent stiffer and it is fitted with Alcon four-piston stoppers. The 6-speed manual box has been reinforced to handle the extra power, with gear ratios that have been designed to specifically to maximise the 0-100km/h sprint and provide the best available mid-range acceleration times.

The RCZ R makes all the right noises, whether you're on or off the throttle with a surprising amount of punch from the small engine. The main problem is getting all that grunt to ground through the front wheels, because the car remains front wheel drive.

Most of the time it is not an issue, but trying to keep the car steady with one hand while changing gears with the other on anything but a flat piece of tarmac requires more than a little skill as it bucks from side to side.

A handy hill holder prevents the car rolling backwards in traffic while a torsen limited slip diff prevents the car from moving around under brakes and allows it to hold a tighter line through corners.

Where the RCZ R comes into its own is punching from corner to corner, coming out fast and braking confidently with little or no turbo lag in this scenario.

It can even manage steep hairpins without having to stop and change down to first. Pretty impressive stuff...

Verdict

We like. Looks good from most angles, especially the rear with its signature twin bubble roof. Bottom line it's fun to drive and that's what matters most.

Pricing guides

$25,250
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$18,600
Highest Price
$31,900

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
1.6T 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $18,600 – 25,960 2014 Peugeot Rcz 2014 1.6T Pricing and Specs
2.0 HDi 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $18,600 – 25,960 2014 Peugeot Rcz 2014 2.0 HDi Pricing and Specs
R 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $23,500 – 31,900 2014 Peugeot Rcz 2014 R Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Pricing Guide

$23,500

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.