The Peugeot RCZ's project director Pierre Bigot believes the car is “something special”. Here, he explains how it progressed in just two years from concept to launch.
Was the RCZ truly a concept, or part of the cycle plan?
It was a pure concept from our designers, but it was always intended to be feasible for production. Early on it was a mixture of pick-up and coupé, but it looked best as a pure coupé so that’s what we did. Just before Frankfurt 2007 we realised we had something really special, so we started making a running prototype.
Was the RCZ ever under threat from the accountants?
There was never a problem, and we kept all our other programmes going, too. We were just encouraged to get the work done even faster.
What did you change from the concept?
Details, mainly. Lights, glass, air intakes and so on. But we tried hard to preserve what we had. There’s a line under the windows, behind the doors, that we straightened, and we ditched the original, rather droopy mirrors. The designers would have liked a central exhaust, but it was just too costly.
What will you do if demand exceeds supply?
Magna can make up to about 22,000 cars a year without much trouble. Above that, the body-in-white supply would be a problem, so we’d have to invest to make more.
What do you like most about the car?
I think the handling surprised us most. It’s very good, given that we have used so much standard architecture. We didn’t want this just to be a styling concept.