They claim that it was the most beautiful car of 2009. While we all know that beauty is really in the eye of the beholder, it’s interesting to know that this title was awarded to the Peugeot RCZ at the 25th International Automobile Festival, which was held in Les Invalides in France (second place, just out of curiosity, went to the BMW Z4; the Citroën DS3 and Nissan 370Z took third and fourth, respectively).
The Peugeot RCZ is a very, very Smart coupé that was recently added to Peugeot’s line-up of Smart, efficient and frugal cars. One of the first things you’ll notice – if you’re tall enough to see it or view the Peugeot RCZ from the right angle – is the “double bubble” roof. Where most vehicles have a smooth, unblemished curve on their roofs, the Peugeot RCZ has two – kind of like the top of a heart shape or a number of other shapes found in nature, such as on fruit and on the human body. (OK, you can use your imagination and fill in the blank here – the designers were French, weren’t they? So were the judges in the aforementioned festival.) This design not only looks quite sexy; it also aids in the aerodynamics of the machine. And the double-bubble roof isn’t the only Smart new concept in the design of the Peugeot RCZ. “Curvaceous” is the name of the game, and you’ll find curves all over the exterior from the 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels (with a number of different alloy styles, depending on the choice of trim) to the “enveloping” bonnet, which is designed to reduced the height of the front wings, allowing better access to the engine and harmonising with the overall organic look of the Peugeot RC-Z. Dual chrome exhausts, LED rear lights, an active rear spoiler and shapely arches finish off the exterior styling.
The ooh-la-la of the Peugeot RCZ’s styling is continued on the inside. This is never going to be a contender for a family car or serious people-mover, but honestly, that wasn’t in the designers’ brief. The dials on the instrument panel are harmoniously curvaceous and well-placed, while the level of attention to detail typically associated with French tailoring and haute couture is reflected in the upholstery’s double-stitching (on nothing but Nappa leather) and tasteful chrome highlights here and there. Not a lot of chrome, but just the right amount. And the bucket seats in the front don’t just look good; they feel good, with ergonomic design for optimum driver comfort, including integral headrests and lots of support.
Other comfort and convenience features in the Peugeot RCZ include an anti-theft alarm, folding door mirrors, parking sensors front and rear, USB port, Bluetooth integration, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, folding wing mirrors,
And now comes the all-important point: what does the Peugeot RCZ drive like. Because, beauty aside, a car is meant to go from place to place rather than sit there and look nice. If that’s what you want, get a statue. But the Peugeot RCZ certainly isn’t a statue, with three engine options all able to do the business of getting from A to B. The engines are the 1.6 Turbo 115 (115 kW at 5800 rpm, 240 Nm at 1400 rpm, 7.3 litres/100 km combined, 0–100 km/h in 8.4 seconds), the 1.6 Turbo 147 (147 kW at 5500 rpm, 275 Nm at 1700 rpm, 6.9 litres/100 km combined, 0–100 km/h in 7.5 seconds) and the 2.0 HDI Turbodiesel (120 kW at 3750 rpm, 340 Nm at 2000–3000 rpm, 5.3 litres/100 km combined, 0–100 km/h in 8.2 seconds). The 1.6 Turbo 115 comes matched with a 6-speed sequential automatic gearbox, while the 1.6 Turbo 147 and the 2-litre diesel are paired with a 6-speed gearbox.
Safety, of course, is important in the Peugeot RCZ, and both the active and the passive safety features are there. Even the beautiful bonnet is designed with safety in mind: it’s designed to reduce any impact on pedestrians in the case of a collision. Other safety features include the ESP program (incorporating traction control, brake assist, dynamic stability control and electronic brakeforce distribution), Hill Assist, oodles of airbags that sense the intensity of any collision, including side airbags built into the seat. And thinking beyond the personal bubble of the Peugeot RCZ – a double bubble in this case – Peugeot has kept the environment in mind. The Peugeot RCZ more than meets the strict European emissions standards (Euro 5) and keeps the emissions of the diesel engine down with a top-of-the-range particulate filter. To cap it all off, Peugeot is also involved in a carbon sink programme (they sponsor a large bit of the Amazon rainforest that is used by biologists for studying ecosystems as well as soaking up a good bit of CO2) and in a recycling scheme that sees 95% of the materials used to build the Peugeot R-CZ being fully recyclable. Now that is a beautiful car.
The current model series includes the:
For any more information on the Peugeot RCZ, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes, even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of Peugeot dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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