Audi get to look so alike?

The Peu­geot 308 RC-Z looks kind of fa­mil­iar, writes NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

THE French are tak­ing flat­tery to new lev­els, the Peu­geot 308 RC-Z bear­ing a strik­ing re­sem­blance to the pre­vi­ous­gen­er­a­tion Audi TT. And the French car­maker is press­ing on with plans to in­tro­duce the sexy 2+2 next year.

Our spy pic­tures of this black pro­to­type caught by Carparazzi in south­ern Europe re­veal an al­most pro­duc­tion-ready sports car.

Peu­geot lifted the wraps on the 308 RC-Z Con­cept to an en­thu­si­as­tic au­di­ence at the 2007 Frankfurt Mo­tor Show.

The pro­duc­tion RC-Z is al­most iden­ti­cal to the con­cept, with the slop­ing roof and kink in the shoul­der line be­hind the doors.

From the front, the car bor­rows heav­ily from the ex­ist­ing 308 hatch, its wide-open­ing grille and fe­line-like head­lights reach­ing back along the car’s flanks.

At the back the RC-Z gets a rear dif­fuser and cen­trally-mounted ex­haust.

When it does go on sale, the smart coupe is tipped to line up against ri­vals as di­verse as the Mercedes-Benz SLK, Audi TT, Mini Cooper S and Alfa Romeo GT coupe.

How­ever, it is ex­pected to cost sig­nif­i­cantly less than th­ese cars.

The RC-Z is ex­pected to reach show­rooms with the same en­gines as higher-level 308 mod­els. A range-top­ping turbo 186kW four­cylin­der from the same sta­ble that builds the John Cooper Works Minis is also likely.

Peu­geot’s 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre tur­bod­iesels will also be part of the model mix.

In­side, the RC-Z’s cabin will mimic the 308CC, with a high-qual­ity leather in­te­rior, sports seats and 2+2 seat­ing.

The PSA Group — Peu­geot and Citroen — is re­align­ing it­self as Citroen goes up­mar­ket and Peu­geot chases per­for­mance ku­dos.

The 308 RC-Z is tipped for the Frankfurt Mo­tor Show in Septem­ber.

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