French TT rival spotted final testing

Peugeot engineers have been caught final testing the Audi TT-rivalling 308 RC Z, which will be fitted with a Mini Cooper JCW 1.6 turbo, possibly tuned to 218bhp.

As you can see from our spy pictures the production car is almost identical to the concept unveiled at the 2007 Frankfurt show.

The headlights have been toned down slightly and the kink along the bottom of the side windows is not so exaggerated, but the overall proportions are the same.

The production car is even likely to retain the classic Zagato-style roof bulges and multi-spoke wheel design of the concept, although the centre exit exhaust is likely to be lost.

Peugeot believes the front-drive only RC Z will challenge non-quattro TTs but will undercut the Audi on price.

A Peugeot insider said the car has an almost identical footprint to the German coupe and prices will start below £20,000.

While the flagship gets the Mini JCW engine, the base model gets the 150bhp 1.6 THP (Turbo High Pressure) 16v engine that is currently found in the 207 150 GT.

The new generation 2.0-litre HDI in either 150bhp or 163bhp form will also be available, all mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. A six-cylinder engine is likely to be ruled out.

The name of the production car is yet to be decided and will be revealed at the car’s Frankfurt show debut this year. Expect UK sales to start in May 2010.

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