Peugeot 308 RC Z

1 Aug, 2007 1:00am Sam Hardy

With it's rakish lines and purposeful stance, Peugeot's 308 coupé has Audi's TT in sight

No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you – Peugeot has built an Audi TT. And this amazing car is set to be the star of the French maker’s stand at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

Based on the recently revealed 308 hatchback, the RC Z reveals how a new medium-sized coupé from the company will look.

When it joins the range in less than two years, the production version will be stunning. And although the roofline has a hint of Audi’s top-selling coupé about it, the 308 RC Z is every inch a Peugeot, with a cab-forward look and extended rear deck.

The 308-style ‘face’ is sharpened up by a lower spoiler, chrome radiator grille and fresh headlights. Des­igners have made the wheelarches more pronounced as well.

A clear plastic tailgate is incorporated into the roofline, and has twin ‘bubbles’. These extend all the way to the rear deck, which features sweep­ing tail-lights similar to those seen on another Peugeot concept: the 908 RC.

The rear end also has a diffuser with twin exhausts which exit from the centre of the bumper – a detail that will certainly stay on the finished model. So will the rounded back end, as its shape produces aerodynamic downforce, negating the need for a spoiler.

Slight changes will have to be made, though, and the roof will be flatter – losing the twin bubbles – while glass will replace the plastic tailgate. Other than that, what you see here will be on sale in 2009.

Inside, there’s a 2+2 layout with, according to Peugeot, enough space behind the front seats for golf clubs. And with the rears folded flat, there’s room for a mountain bike, too.

Leather bucket seats take pride of place in the front. The dash has been covered in hide, while a neat centre console analogue clock, plus chrome and aluminium trim, have been added. Under the bonnet, the 308 RC Z gets a reworked version of the 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine co-developed by Peugeot and BMW.

Pushing out 218bhp here, it produces 43bhp more power than in the 207 GTi, along with 280Nm of torque. That’s enough to propel the RC Z from 0-62mph in seven seconds and on to a maximum speed of 146mph. The unit is mated to a new six-speed box, and returns 42.2mpg and emits only 160g/km of CO2.

Large 360mm vented disc brakes and 19-inch split-rim alloy wheels wearing 245/40-section tyres help to keep the coupé firmly on the road, while the suspension’s track is 59mm wider front and rear than that of the standard 308 hatchback.

When the finished car arrives in two years’ time, prices are expected to start from around £17,000.

AEX 1,339
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