I knew the situation was serious when Tall Girl was surprised I’d have to give the car back. She asked, “What do you mean give it back?”, “Yes” I said “I’m driving it back to Milan next week, it’s not mine, it’s a press car.”. Aw. She said. She liked it. They all did and that’s the first thing you need to know about the RCZ-R, women like it.
I’ve learnt a few important lessons with cars, and I’ve discovered that many women actually love them. And if they like them, they like them exactly for the reasons we boys do: speed, looks and excitement. Nothing to do with power or wealth because, and this is the most important lesson I’ve learnt, while a nice car certainly does put this or that man, in the same way six pack abs do, under the spotlight for the first 34 seconds or so, it’s no deal breaker. This usually means that after the first 34 seconds, the girl in question won’t care a hoot which car you’re driving if she realizes you’re an idiot.
The original RCZ appeared to have been designed by a craftsman with talent but not much time. Then, with the 2012 restyling, it went from being nice to properly gorgeous.
The second best thing about the Peugeot RCZ is the way it looks. Hunkered down, low, wide, coupe-ish. But what sets it apart from other coupes on the road in the reasonable price bracket is that it has that supercar effect. People look at it and don’t know what it is, what with the curved glass roof and the cuts and the angles. The original RCZ, launched April 2010, appeared to have been designed by a craftsman with considerable talent but not much time, then in 2012 the designers at Peugeot went back at it and the original product went from being nice to properly gorgeous. To my eyes, this is one of the best looking cars you could buy without having to sell your house.
The RCZ is, or rather was, available with both a diesel and a petrol engine, with various power output possibilities ranging from 156 to 270 HP. I’ve been driving the latter for ten days and this brings me on neatly to the third best thing about the RCZ R. Its speed. The RCZ R has a 1,6 litre turbocharged engine and an astonishing power-to-weight ratio, that’s 4,7 kg/cv for you (kerb weight is 1280 kg). The car accelerates relentlessly. It builds up pace in one big chunk, shoots you forward, then you have to change because the gear ratio is quite short and this makes the car very quick but also incredibly economical. I don’t think I’ve ever driven a petrol car with such a positive performance-fuel efficiency ratio.
If your name is Mr. Trump, having to fill up your car every 5 minutes ain’t much of an issue, mostly because I suspect somebody else does it for you. But most of us aren’t called Trump, we have a budget. And this is 270 HP on a budget.
And that’s the best thing about it. I know that talking about fuel and range may sound boring and tedious, and it is, but I like real world things and real world cars. If your name is Mr. Gates or Mr. Trump, having to fill up the tank in your car every 5 minutes ain’t much of an issue, mostly because I suspect somebody else does it for you. But most of us aren’t called Gates or Trump, in other words we have a budget. And this is 270 HP you can run on a budget.
You could actually buy the RCZ for good money, and you should. I have often argued, and I know I’m not alone at this, that modern cars aren’t bad at all, absolutely, but a lot of modern cars are very dull. Not this one, though, this RCZ R has got the heart of a lion, the range of a camel and it’s got a huuuuge spoiler at the back. And you can put a bunny on it.
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