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If there's one car you don't see on the road anymore, its this one

2020-04-27 08:00

Robin Classen

Peugeot RCZ

Image: Net Car Show

If there is one very underrated brand in South Africa, it has to be Peugeot.

They make some of the most beautiful, technologically advanced vehicles but locally they just don't sell as well as what it should.

Now you see me

Keeping that mind, there is one particular model that was introduced to mass euphoria and excitement and truly ahead of its time, then suddenly went off the radar just as fast. Maybe you caught a glimpse of it on the road and didn't know what its name was.

Are there any other cars you can think of that went off the radar in recent years?Or, did you own a classic Peugeot or a RCZ you can tell us about? Email us your photos and stories and we'll publish it on Wheels24.

People got a first glimpse of the Peugeot RCZ at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show, and after much fanfare and euphoria from the public, the French brand officially put it into production the following year.

READ | Why Peugeot’s Landtrek bakkie could be a landmark for the automaker in SA

As far as design went, it looked like a creation from the future and had beautiful things in all the right places. One feature, in particular, was the double-bubble glass roof inspired by Italian coachbuilding company Zagato. Because of this exciting rear, some people even likened it to a Porsche Carrera GT.

Ticked the boxes

It was no slouch either and had the speed to back up the looks. Power was sent to the front wheels via three turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engines and two diesel derivatives. Kilowatt figures ranged from 115 to as much as 201 in the top-specced RCZ R - developed by Peugeot Sport - and South Africa received this version.

rcz r

                                                               Image: Net Car Show

Staying at the rear, another cool feature is the retractable rear wing that aids stability at high speeds. The Lexus LFA and Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, among others, use this type of aerodynamic control.

European markets, especially in France, took an instant liking to the sports coupe but not so much locally. Peugeot wasn't a tried and tested recipe in South African then, nor was anyone going to take a leap of faith and spend the cash on the new French number.

Was it a failure?

Considering the production of the RCZ only ended in 2015, it was by no means a flop in Europe. It might not have sold as well locally, but some people wanted to see what the two-door sports compact was about.

Peugeot RCZ

                                                               Image: Net Car Show

For its price at the time of R499 000, it asked a lot of the consumer when there were better options to choose from. The Toyota 86, VW Scirocco and Audi TT Coupe were all considerably cheaper and also offered better performance.

The fact is that it is a beautiful car to look at and admire, but when you put the numbers together and make the comparisons, it didn't really have a foothold. 

Seeing one in the flesh now is something of a privilege and still attracts the attention it did all those years ago.

Disclaimer: Wheels24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of contributors/columnists published on Wheels24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24 or Wheels24. 


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