Peugeot RCZ 1.6 Turbo M6 Review
The Lion roars

Story by Joe Yeo Photos by William Whey and Joe Yeo
13 Aug 2011

We find out if the 200bhp, manual transmission RCZ finally offers performance it deserves?

Introduction, styling

Despite the increasing popularity of automatic gearboxes in performance models, there are still groups of driving enthusiasts out there that are die-hard manual gearbox fans. No matter how good and quick shifting DCT, DSG or S-Tronic boxes are, these enthusiast drivers feel that the good old school manual boxes are still more satisfying and more engaging to drive with.

Thanks to these die-hard manual fans, most car manufacturers offer most of its performance models with a choice of either an automatic or manual transmission. The French though, love shifting gears on their own so much that performance models like the Renaultsport range, the Peugeot 207 GTI and the DS3 turbo among others are only available with a three-pedal set up and in a market where drivers need not learn how to drive a manual car if they opt to have a Class 3A license, means that the appeal of these cars are somehow limited here in Singapore. 

Well, there’s another new French performance model that Class 3A license holders won’t be driving anytime soon – the 200bhp range topping Peugeot RCZ. We’ve already known how good the RCZ is even in base 156bhp, six-speed auto form previously when we tested it earlier in the year so the question now is can the 200bhp RCZ deliver even more fun and additional driving thrills for the enthusiasts in addition to being just a beautiful coupe to cruise and pose in?

Based on a concept car of the same name, the RCZ is an example how a stunning looking concept car can be put into series production looking relatively unchanged. From any angle, the RCZ just looks evocative and exquisite. It looks like a more expensive car than it actually is as a matter of fact. Its proportions suggest a mid-engine layout while other notable styling features on the RCZ include the bulbous wheel arches as well as the gaping front grille and the feline inspired sweptback headlamps up front. The RCZ’s prettiest styling detail though, is its roof. Inspired by designs from Zagato in the 60s, the roof features a double bubble design while the roof’s profile is further accentuated by the aluminium look arches.

For the 200bhp model, the roof gets a carbon fibre look for a racier feel with only the more powerful model’s gun metal coloured 19-inch alloy wheels the other distinguishing feature the top dog model has from the 156bhp model. The 200’s sexier alloys give the RCZ an even more purposeful and aggressive stance when compared to the 156.

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