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Frankfurt preview for Peugeot 308 RC Z

Peugeot proposes Audi TT-like sports coupe with 308 RC Z

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Peugeot is proposing an Audi TT-alike sports coupe with the unveiling of a concept called 308 RC Z at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The RC Z is a curvy 2+2 coupe based on the new 308 small family car; it's the same length as the hatch, but 25mm wider and, at 1,320mm high, considerably lower-slung. It has a high percentage of aluminium and carbon-fibre components to keep its weight down, and its outline has been developed for optimum aerodynamics.

While it bears a strong resemblance to the 308, the RC Z has a single air intake, a chrome front grille and different fog lights and four projector-style directional bi-xenon headlights; to the rear, it has a pair of centrally-mounted exhaust tailpipes integrated into the rear bumper's lower section. Peugeot says that this has been achieved by repositioning the rear silencer in a transverse position, where it can double up as an aerodynamic diffuser, and that this layout still allows for the storage of a spare wheel.

The RC Z is finished in a metallic grey 'flake' paint finish and its interior is leather-upholstered with chrome, aluminium and black lacquer trim. It's kitted out with bucket-type front seats and two 'occasional' folding rear seats - more for golf clubs than as a proper '+2' for passengers - although with these seats folded, Peugeot claims enough boot volume to accommodate a mountain bike. Showcasing Peugeot's latest gadgets and technology, the cabin features kit including lane departure warning, as in the 308.

Power comes from a 218bhp version of the 1.6-litre turbo engine as in the 207 GTi; this has a maximum torque output of 207lb-ft, which can be temporarily boosted to 221lb-ft for quick bursts of acceleration, and is fitted in combination with an all-new six-speed manual gearbox. The RC Z is said to be capable of 146mph and 0-60mph in seven seconds, yet is relatively economical, returning 42.2mpg and 160g/km of carbon dioxide.

Though this is described only as a concept car and a 'testbed' for new technology, the 308 RC Z is a very definite hint that Peugeot is planning to extend its 308 range by adding a sporty coupe. The coupe is also expected to have a drop-top counterpart with folding metal roof, which will replace the current 307 CC.