Although Peugeot is primarily known for building little hatchbacks and crossovers designed to fit markets that appreciate smaller cars, it also makes something especially exciting: a little sports car called the RCZ. I’m not sure how it is to drive, but I can tell you this: It’s absolutely gorgeous.
You can see it above, and you can also see that it looks like a rather handsome, expensive sports car. It’s not expensive, but it’s quite handsome, with a design that looks like something you’d see from Audi or maybe some exotic brand. It’s really something, and it certainly turns heads on the road.
Unfortunately, like most mainstream-brand models not sold here in the States, the engine isn’t exactly explosive. When the RCZ debuted, its biggest engine had 197 horses — and that translated to a 0-to-60 mph time of 7.5 seconds. Things have improved a bit since then, and Peugeot now offers a version with 270 horses, which drops the 0-to-60 mph time to 5.9 seconds.
The major drawback is that, ultimately, it’s still a front-wheel-drive Peugeot, which means it’s unlikely that its on-road performance will match its appearance — although magazine tests have largely been positive, and many have called it an excellent sports car. I think a 350-hp version with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive would make it a truly excellent sports car, but I suppose I should be happy Peugeot built it at all.
Unfortunately, the RCZ is now out of production, having lasted from 2009 to 2015. Maybe it’ll eventually find its way here when it turns 25 — it’s likely there could be a few fans who’d import an RCZ or two to America.