The Asphalt Edition is nothing more than a range-topping RCZ with matt grey paint and generous kit. But that’s not such a bad thing. Select a few options, and it’s easy to spend close to £30,000 on a flagship RCZ anyway, so buyers looking for a little extra exclusivity and style will love the Asphalt. And they’ll be getting one of the most striking cars on the road.
We didn’t think the Peugeot RCZ could get any better looking – until now. The new Asphalt Edition has an eye-catching Telluric grey matt paint finish that accentuates the coupe’s subtle curves better than any other shade we’ve seen.
Only 40 examples will come to the UK, and we got behind the wheel to find out if there’s more to this super-rare car than its stunning style.
Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Peugeot RCZ
Other unique features include special Asphalt badges and black brake calipers. The 19-inch alloy wheels are optional on lesser models, but are fitted as standard here.
Inside, the custom touches continue. The contrast-stitched leather sports seats now come with Asphalt badging on the headrests, and there’s a set of unique door sills and floor mats, too. The cabin is not only stylishly designed, it also has a real air of quality, helped by the leather-lined dashboard and solid-feeling switchgear.
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There’s not a huge amount of space in the low-slung Peugeot, but adults can squeeze themselves into the rear for short journeys. Luggage room is good, with 384 litres on offer; fold the back seats, and this expands to a maximum of 780 litres.
The newcomer is based on the RCZ GT 200 – the quickest and sharpest car in the line-up – and doesn’t disappoint from behind the wheel. The 1.6-litre turbo produces 197bhp, and is punchy throughout the rev range before really coming into its own above 4,500rpm. There’s a raspy growl from the twin chrome exhausts, and the RCZ can sprint from 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds. It also claims a combined figure of 40.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 159g/km.
As with the GT model, the Asphalt Edition has been tweaked for a sharper drive with thicker anti-roll bars and larger wheel hubs. It doesn’t disappoint in corners, with excellent body control, front-end grip and stability.
The smaller steering wheel provides sharp responses – even if the feel does seem a little artificial at times – and the short-throw six-speed manual box is a pleasure to use. Even with large 19-inch alloys and low-profile rubber, the car rides extremely well. Rough road surfaces are ironed out, while potholes send only a dull thud through the cabin. This means the RCZ has real all-round ability; it’s a sports car one minute and a motorway cruiser the next.
As well as the updated styling, the Asphalt comes with extra kit as standard over the GT model. Front and rear parking sensors, ‘approach’ and ‘follow me home’ headlights, sat-nav and an upgraded JBL stereo system are all fitted. The special edition commands a premium of £4,050 over the GT 200 on which it’s based. That takes the overall cost to £29,995, which seems very expensive indeed. However, once you specify an RCZ GT to a similar level, you’ll find the difference is only a few hundred pounds.
There’s really very little at this price point that’s as exclusive or as eye-catching as the RCZ Asphalt. If you can act quickly enough to snap up one of the 40 UK-bound examples, you won’t be disappointed.