Peugeot is contemplating building an open-top version of the new RCZ, to broaden its assault on the Audi TT. The new coupe was unveiled at today's Frankfurt motor show.
The two-door RCZ is aimed squarely at the TT coupe, but the French firm is considering either a full convertible or a Porsche 911-style targa model to steal sales from the TT roadster, Autocar can reveal.
Peugeot has decided customers for the RCZ – predicted to be 80 per cent male – will be different to those for the convertible 308CC, and it recognises the market for a drop-top.
Marjorie Lhullier, RCZ production chief, said a convertible or targa version of the car has not been ruled out.
“If we could do a targa similar to the Porsche 911 with the RCZ double-bubble roof it would be fantastic,” she said.
The flagship RCZ will have a 200bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged engine closely related to that fitted to the Mini Cooper S. However, despite its larger size, the RCZ will weigh just 100kg more than the Mini at 1275kg, hitting 60mph in 7.6sec.
However, Peugeot has not ruled out a quicker version using a larger engine and is seriously considering also adding a 200bhp diesel-electric hybrid to the range.
“We are now studying the possibility of a hybrid,” added Lhullier.
Autocar has had access to the production version of the RCZ ahead of its unveiling at the Frankfurt motor show and can bring you more details about Peugeot’s return to its sporting roots.
Clever styling, which is true to the concept, gives the car an almost mid-engined, rear-drive look, helping to give considerable road presence.
The car, which shares just its headlights and door handles with the 308, looks best from the rear, with a low Porsche 911/Cayman-like appearance.
The active pop-up bonnet allows the bonnet to be 2cm lower than it normally would be and still pass pedestrian safety regulations.
Inside the quality is perhaps not quite at Audi TT levels, but the leather-covered dash is well executed and the seats, which are unique to the RCZ, again ape those found in Porsches.
The driving position is good and there is adequate room in the front, although space in the rear is seriously restricted in both head and legroom.