Although likeable enough, there were plenty of reasons not to buy the regular RCZ. Foremost among them was the lack of fire in its belly compared with the coupés packed in around it.

Conceivably, Peugeot could have tackled this by simply making the car quicker, but it hasn’t. Instead, it has done the job properly and, we’re delighted to say, like we’d imagine the Peugeot of old would do it.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
It's a fine effort, and the quickest and best Peugeot you can buy. Fun too, but pricier than it should be

Thus, the R is swifter and more substantial, yet also largely uncorrupted by comfort-limiting irritability. Moreover, it proved to be entertaining and occasionally adjustable to the point of genuine trickiness. We’ll gingerly admit to liking that, too.

Things look pretty good when you compare it to its rivals, too. The Audi TT is dull to drive and quite aged now, while the Mini Coupé JCW 1.6 is nowhere near as finessed as the Peugeot.

It's only the likes of the Renault Mégane RS 265 and BMW M235i that really offer more overall prowess than the Peugeot, but that in itself shows how far Peugeot has come with the RCZ R.

Less endearing is the price. By topping £30k, the R is pitched against some rivals it is not able to objectively overcome. Potentially that will cap its success, but it doesn’t limit its mechanical appeal.

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Considered in that light, the R is comfortably the best car Peugeot currently makes.

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