The RCZ has beautiful….cleavage?
- 21 July 2011
- No Comments
By Philip Hedderman
Take a look at the car that’s so sexy it even comes with … a cleavage.
I kid you not.
Yes, the magnificent piece of engineering you see before you is the new Peugeot RCZ and it’s so well, erm, formed, it would give the most voluptuous woman on the planet a run for her money.
So, Sofia Vergara – you’ve been officially warned.
Now, there’s no doubting that the chief designer is a big fan of the comedy ‘Modern Family’ and was heavily influenced by the Latino beauty and her fiery, explosive personality.
Feast your eyes on the sloping design of the roof which dips in the middle to give the “double bubble” effect which is simply outstanding.
Couple that with the JLo-sized booty, lowered roofline, streaming chrome pillars, sculpted sides, flared wheelarches,18 inch tinted grey multi-spoke alloys and you’re in real supercar territory.
That styling and feel continues on the inside and hits you full-on as soon as you open the driver’s door.
It’s wall-to-wall Nappa leather, bucket seats, chrome trimmed dials, aluminium pedals and a compact central console all encased in a glossy piano black finish.
The devil though is in the detail and that just screams quality.
One could be fooled into thinking that your tush is actually sitting in something a little more Germanic and a lot more expensive.
The premium materials and upmarket feel engulfs you and is evident at every turn.
Take the 3 dimensional prancing lion embossed on the headrests to the double stitching in seats and dash to the RCZ logoed kick plates on the door sills.
It’s “so not Pug” in here and it’s a level of luxury you could easily become accustomed to.
But it’s that element of surprise which makes the attack on the senses more of a thrill.
The state of confusion causes the heart to race as the brain struggles to take it all in.
You see, we Irish have long memories and words like “premium” and “quality” are not ones associated with Peugeots of old.
The French marque have got it so right this time you can’t help but question its pedigree.
I wasn’t alone.
In fact, that issue would be a topic of conversation with curious passerbys almost on a daily basis.
“Is that the new TT?”, they would enquire as they stood in admiration of this fabulous little machine.
Er, no its the new RCZ
“Oh, Audi have renamed it?”
Nope, this is a Peugeot RCZ.
Scratching their heads in disbelief the reaction, time and again, was shock and awe in equal measure.
And who could blame them?
After all. it is an awesome looking carriage and, if I may be so bold, a little more handsome than the Audi (which has been around for over a decade).
The only style faux pas in my book is the big numbered analogue kitchen clock nestled in the middle of the airvents but that I’m told is a matter of individual taste.
If that’s not enough to get you in a right old tizzy then the drive is sure to.
The 2.0 litre HDi oil burner churns out a very respectable 163bhp hitting 0-100kph in well under 9 secs while returning around 50mpg.
The emissions are minuscule (139g/km) for a sports coupe keeping the road tax down to a meagre €156 a year.
Thanks to an automatic spoiler which deploys at speeds over 60mph creating greater downforce, the handling is superb – cornering like it’s on rails.
Being front wheel drive gives you added peace of mind of never losing the rear end should you push it to the limits.
We did at every opportunity and she behaved impeccably, in fact, a few more horses wouldn’t go amiss.
The steering is precise and responsive unlike noughties generation coupes like the bonkers RX8 and no matter how hard you were on the hammer, you always felt confident of making it back alive.
Safety gadgets like Anti-Skid Regulation, Dynamic Stability Control and Electronic Brake Force Distribution keep the madness under control and more importantly the car in between the lines.
So, it has looks and performance, but what is it like doing day-to-day things like the schoolrun etc.
It’s been hawked as a genuine 2 + 2 Coupe with “ample” room in the rear.
Let’s not get too hysterical – you’d get a couple of small kids in there comfortably and an hour’s drive to the Ulster Folk Museum in Belfast didn’t cause too much trauma.
A pair of rotund auld lads like me would probably fare better in the boot which boasts a very generous 384 litres or enough space for a double set of golf clubs.
All-in- all this little gem is pretty much flawless and the only chink in the armour is the giant trademark lion on the bonnet.
That could be this car’s biggest enemy and the reason brand snobs will shy away.
Perhaps Peugeot should have opted for the Japanese route to luxury motoring and just called it the RCZ.
Still, the TT has to be aware that a predator is on the prowl and with a near €8k price difference for the Diesel, must be feeling a little vulnerable.
Prices for the RCZ start at €37,395.