Refreshed Peugeot RCZ is still one gorgeous coupe
PEUGEOT has given its RCZ coupe a mid-life refresh, adding more equipment and $4000 to the price.
The halo car from the French car maker now starts from $58,990, but gains satellite navigation, bigger alloys and a range of other trinkets as standard.
Nothing has changed under its skin, with the same 1.6-litre petrol in two levels of tune and one 2.0-litre turbo-diesel.
Automatic petrol variants have only 115 kilowatts, but the slick shifting six-speed manual derivatives gain 35 more which turns the coupe from refined cruiser into a hardened performer.
The 2.0-litre oil-burner is partnered with a manual shifter, and available on order only.
These latest models have more black external features as opposed to the previous silver, with the darker colour scheme now adorning the wheel arches, grille and brake calipers while the larger alloys are grey. A new look face also incorporates Xenon lights and "claw" shaped LED running lamps.
The driver's key dials and gauges have some carbon fibre touches and white needles, but the new crowning glory is an awesome analogue clock central in the dash courtesy of renowned watch maker Bell & Ross which really raises the chic maturity.
Other key changes inside are the black lacquered look around the gear lever, new door pads with trim inserts and two aluminium inserts at the dashboard.
Standard equipment remains strong, with the only option metallic paint. Items on the complimentary list are a pop-up satellite navigation system, electronic parking assistance (front and rear), sports leather trimmed steering wheel, rain-sensing front wipers, auto lights, electrically adjustable front seats, driver's seat with memory function, leather trim, 19-inch alloys and a twin sports exhaust.
The petrol engine with an automatic transmission would be the choice for those who like to cruise around with little fanfare, but those seeking extra grunt would be best suited to the manual version.
Extra power and torque makes a monumental difference and enables the driver to exploit the taut chassis's true ability.
Sure the RCZ shares its underpinnings with its sedate 308 sibling, but it corners remarkably flat with a low centre of gravity and possesses impressive grip for a front-wheel drive.
The steering is also sharp and direct, proving a nice balance between metropolitan convenience and rewarding performance.
Model: Peugeot RCZ.
Details: Two-door front-wheel drives coupe.
Engines: 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol at two levels of tune, generating maximum power of 115kW @ 6000rpm and 240Nm @ 1400rpm (automatic); 147kW @ 5500rpm and 275Nm @ 1700rpm (manual); 2.0-litre turbo diesel 120kW @ 3750rpm and 340Nm @ 2000rpm (manual only).
Transmissions: Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
Consumption: 7.5 litres/100km (combined average); 6.9L/100km; 5.3L/100km.
CO2: 168g/km; 159g/km; 139g/km.
Bottom line: $58,990 plus on-roads, all models.