I was talking to someone at Peugeot the other day about the new RCZ and its importance for the brand. In a roundabout way I wanted to broach the subject of whether this could indicate a return to the affordable sporting Peugeots that are so sorely missed.
I thought he would be very defensive of the company’s position and refute any suggestion it had turned its back on fast cars, but it wasn’t the case. Instead the chap was very understanding and said it had been Peugeot’s desire to become a "responsible" brand, hence the more sensible approach, and this had now been achieved. Now it was time to go back to "re-establish our sporting credentials" where his exact words.
The RCZ is a push by the company to inject a bit of fun back into their products (while still being responsible of course). The press release that came with the RCZ is filled with words like "driving enjoyment", "performance", "responsive" and "agile".
We shall have to wait and see whether any of this translates to the road but I sense Peugeot is serious about reasserting itself as a sporting manufacturer. The turbocharged engine is the same as in the Mini Cooper for a start and while 200bhp is not ground breaking it’s a good lag-free unit and the RCZ is likely to not weigh much more than the Cooper.