They say you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression and most of the time this idiom proves true.
But, like a supermodel with an astrophysics doctorate and a penchant for Brahms, the Peugeot RCZ hides a wealth of surprises. With this in mind, it should be noted – the latest Lion-car is a true stunner.
The voluptuous haunches have a biomorphic fluidity akin to a stingray with not a single straight line or right-angle in sight. The double-bubble roof is the first of the intricacies seamlessly waved in by designer Boris Reinmoller.
As the light catches the humps on the Onyx Black roof panel, it is obvious the RCZ has been designed with both efficiency and style at the forefront.
Based on a 308 hatchback, the RCZ has a wider stance and rides 20mm lower than its prosaic stable mate. The optional 18” black wheels fill the exquisite arches and add to the visual impact of this sleuthy machine.
The only minor criticisms which could be given are of the slightly clumsy grille fascia which gives the car a wide-mouthed grin and the moderately detached look of the rear end as the roofline cuts in just astern of the firewall.
In reality though, the driver who notices such things often will doubtlessly be a fairly colossal pedant. Inside, the car feels poised and has a readiness about it. Although, some of the knobs and dials do seem as though they have been lifted from a less salubrious model – from which the steering most definitely has been.
Happily, this is all forgotten when on the move. The ride is impressive and composed, though noticeably more willowy than more sporty competitors such as the Audi TT. The 2.0 litre HDI diesel in our test car is mightily impressive considering it shares basic underpinning with the clattery 505 of the early 1980’s.
The high pressure injection system has nullified any past woes for this latest version, which is robust yet refined, with plenty of guts.
Output is a healthy 163bhp and is specially upped for the RCZ. Better still, in diesel guise, all the style will be cheap to move about, with a combined cycle figure of 53mpg.
Prices for the RCZ start at £20,895 for the 1.6 THP and rise to £25,595 for the bells-and-whistles 200 2.0 THP, while the top spec diesel weighs in at £550 less than the petrol counterpart.
With thanks to Lookers Peugeot, Cardiff.