The RCZ R is nothing less than the most powerful, performance-focused road car in Peugeot’s history. Peugeot Sport, the firm’s in-house motorsport department, got the job of revealing the RCZ’s Mr Hyde. And with recent successes in international rallying, LMP1-class sportscar racing and at Pikes Peak, Peugeot Sport wasn’t likely to do a tame job.
Even so, the attention to detail will surprise you. Performance derivatives pretty commonly get wider wheels and axle tracks, shortened springs and bigger brakes, but not many get special wheel geometry, special Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres, relocated and uprated dampers and anti-roll bars, reduced unsprung masses and a proper torque-sensing mechanical limited-slip differential. That’s a pretty trick mechanical spec for your princely £32,000.
Even after all those changes, the RCZ R weighs 17kg less than the RCZ THP 200 – says Peugeot. While that may be true, MIRA’s scales said our test car was 15kg heavier than the THP 156 we tested in 2010. Still, 1355kg makes for a better power-to-weight ratio here than in the 2.7-litre Porsche Cayman we figured last year.
External styling tweaks are fairly understated – perhaps Peugeot felt they had to be on such a feminine-looking coupé – but they just about distinguish the car. The RCZ’s characteristic silvered roof pillars turn matt black, while a fixed boot spoiler is the main visual signifier of speed. How much speed, exactly? According to Peugeot, 60mph from rest in less than 6.0sec and a standing kilometre in 25.4sec.