It not only has the most powerful 1.6-litre production engine in the business under the bonnet, but the car itself is one of the most exclusive ever to come to New Zealand. It’s the limited-edition Peugeot RCZ-R coupe – and only six are available in this country, each one priced from $77,490.
In a word, this is the go-much-faster version of the RCZ, which has sold in New Zealand for the past few years. The RCZ-R is made by Peugeot Sport, the French brand’s racing division, the same people who won the La Mans 24-hour in 2009 with the 908 HDi FAP.
Peugeot Sport upgraded the standard RCZ’s chassis, suspension and brakes, added wider 19-inch alloys, improved the rear aerodynamic spoiler, lowered the ride height by 10mm, and reworked the 149kW engine to deliver 199kW and 330Nm of torque, enough oomph for a 0-100km/h sprint time of under six seconds and a top speed of 250km/h.
It’s the most powerful production car ever to wear the Peugeot badge. To take the engine development a step further, its specific output, that is the amount of power produced per cubic litre in engine capacity, matches the twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 in the supercar McLaren 650S, an engine 2.3 times the capacity of the RCZ-R unit.
There’s more: the RCZ R engine is the ultimate iteration of the turbocharged 1.6-litre unit that was developed by PSA Peugeot-Citroen and BMW for use in the Peugeot 208 GTi, Citroen DS3, and previous-generation Mini Cooper S. The only version of the engine that comes anywhere near the RCZ-R’s output is the 160kW/280Nm unit in the Mini GP Edition.
Peugeot Sport basically rebuilt the RCZ engine, fitting it with a bigger twin-scroll turbocharger, forged aluminium pistons, stronger conrods, and an exhaust system with larger extractor and twin tailpipes. The overall changes to the donor car resulted in a two-door speedster weighing 1280kg – 17kg lighter than the RCZ.