Yes, it’s true; if you want a car that gets looks absolutely everywhere, you need an RCZ. The common Audi TT has no attention drawing abilities anymore, they are ten a penny! We had the pleasure of driving the 1.6, 156BHP RCZ in GT spec. At £23,560 it is £2,350 more expensive than the basic “Sport” trim level.
I think most will agree the exterior is stunning. At any angle, you will see a sexy curve or a bulge, from the double bubble rear window to the sticky out nose, it looks the part! This model had three extra options, black brake callipers, gloss black front grille and black alloy wheels. All of these came to a total of £480, but they made the RCZ stand out a lot more, especially against the lovely Opal white paint.
Since I originally saw the concept car at the last UK motor show in 2007, I thought it was such a sexy design. Some say its feminine, but I think the beefy rear haunches and wide front grille definitely make it a masculine car. The way the aluminium finished roof arches emerge from the bodywork as though they are part of the chassis, it’s completely different to any other car on the market, in fact, the whole roof from front to back looks like its floating between the arches.
Oh and not forgetting the automatic rear spoiler, which you can put up at will, with its dedicated “poser” button next to the handbrake!
The RCZ uses the same platform as the 308, 308SW, 308CC, 3008 and 5008….but don’t let this put you off! The front track has been stretched by 44mm at the front and 63mm at the rear; this gives the RCZ superb road holding ability. The suspension is pretty firm as it should be in a sports coupé, you will feel the lumps and bumps in the road, and if you buy one, start avoiding potholes! The electro-hydraulic steering adapts itself to weight up at speed, and become lighter during manoeuvres, while I didn’t get much road feeling through the wheel the drive still felt very sharp and engaging.
When pushing the RCZ into a corner and accelerating away it doesn’t struggle or scrabble for grip, it just pulls. This is partly due to the intelligent traction control that can enable more or less slip on the front wheels. It gave me a lot of confidence both on country roads and normal city driving. The one thing I would say is that the 156BHP while quick enough for most people felt a little lacking. When you put your foot down it seems to take a while to pick up and get going, if I were to buy an RCZ I would go for the 200BHP model. Just to have that little bit extra when you need it.
With a 0-60 of 8.3 seconds the 156BHP sits toward the slow end of the Hot Hatch market, however if you want an economical Sporty Coupé the 156 would be a good bet. The diesel model would be better if you are driving many motorway miles and needed something to chug along in, but really, no sports coupé should be diesel, it just doesn’t sound right!
Peugeot markets the rear seats in the RCZ as “occasional” seats……this is code for “very occasionally if you are 5ft tall and don’t mind being squashed for a 10 minute journey”. The car SHOULD have been a two seater, even with the front passenger seat fully forward, your knees are still underneath your chin, and the rear window means you cannot sit upright. The rear seats are basically a bench with a 90◦ angle….just forget about them….it is a two seater!
The rear interior isn’t very pleasant either, two great big plastic panels fill in the space next to the rear seats; the place where the seatbelts come from is just as bad. Two holes with seatbelts emerging from them, the latches then sit in another cut out. It takes away from the premium feel of the car and is a tad disappointing.
Underneath the sexy rear spoiler lies a huge boot, easily big enough to fit 2 large suitcases for that romantic weekend away to Français.
However up front it is another story, the black roof lining and the stitched dash look great. To add to the classy feel, a large analogue clock sits in the middle of the dash. The climate control and stereo are surrounded by a gloss black facia that has a slight silver fleck to it, however unusually this doesn’t carry on anywhere else on the car. The surround for the gearstick is normal matte plastic and so is the insert by the armrest. The armrest moves forward, and also adjusts upward which was a nice feature to have.
The main display for the radio is also a bit of a disappointment, it’s the same screen used in the 207 and a few other Peugeots. A colour touch screen as standard would have been more fitting.
Neither keyless entry, nor push button start is to be found on the options list. It is a shame as I think the car feels more basic than premium due to the lack of tech.
The standard stereo was great, it had real bass and was nice and crisp; Bluetooth audio streaming was also flawless.
Up front the seats where excellent, firm and hugging, just what a car like this needs. One rather annoying thing I found was that when the blowers where on the foot well, a loud whistling sound appeared, it didn’t happen on any other setting, just the foot well; but it sounded like you were in a haunted castle….
All in all the RCZ is stunning, if you want a car that everyone will look at then this is it. The amount of attention you get driving around is very flattering! Some more tech inside would be nice, but at the end of the day they are all things you can live without.
The engine to go for if you want a true Sporty Coupé would be the 200BHP version….or if you can wait, Peugeot are bringing out a 260BHP Racing model in 2013! This will be Peugeots most powerful road going production car.
GT spec adds leather heated seats, 19” alloys, automatic lights/wipers and front parking sensors, but to be honest if you can live without the leather seats get the basic sport spec and opt for the Sat Nav; at £1,470 it’s not cheap but it will finish off the interior nicely! You could also add the Sport Kit with includes a smaller steering wheel and sports gear lever for £320.
If you were thinking of splashing out on a basic spec Audi TT at £24,075 I would advise you to go to Peugeot first. Even though the TT has a beefier 2 litre engine and better 0-60 than the base RCZ, for exclusivity and a drop-dead gorgeous exterior, the RCZ outclasses the TT.
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Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 car opens Silverstone’s Festive Experience
Silverstone’s Lap of Lights Christmas experience was officially opened this evening by the World Championship winning Mercedes-AMG Petronas W10 Formula 1 car driven by Anthony Davidson. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas team embraced the Christmas spirit and decorated the car in festive lights which caused quite a spectacle for those fans who were lucky enough to be at the preview event and included NHS and Emergency Service employees and their families as well as staff from Silverstone.
On completion of the opening laps Anthony was delighted to meet Santa who, having given a cheery wave to the passing 2019 Formula 1 World Championship-winning Mercedes, took a short break from his busy schedule to get a closer peek at the F1 car as it came to a halt on Hamilton Straight.
In addition to the spectacle of the opening laps, visitors got to experience the Lap of Lights Ice Trak and Lodge which were open to all and bursting with festive atmosphere. Ice Trak is the first ever skating rink to feature at the world famous motor racing circuit and many took to the ice to enjoy the novelty of skating around the Formula 1 pit lane and garages. The Lodge was buzzing with the sound of families enjoying activities such as axe throwing, curling and musical entertainment and the children’s cinema and Santa letter corner were particularly popular.
Speaking to Sky F1 David Croft as he got out of the car Anthony Davidson said “That was really exhilarating in the dark following the lights around the circuit although it was a bit scary at times! The team has really enjoyed getting into the Christmas spirit and putting on this very sparkling show for everyone who has joined us here this evening!”
Silverstone Managing Director, Stuart Pringle, commented “Anthony and Mercedes-AMG Petronas have put on a great show for us tonight and I could not think of a more fitting way to open Lap of Lights. I have had to reassure Father Christmas that the rest of our nights will be run at a more subdued pace as I think he got a bit of a shock this evening when he saw the stunning W10 approach his grotto at speed! After 11 months of planning it is great to see so many families here having fun and I look forward to welcoming many more over the festive period.”
Lap of Lights ticket prices start at £30 per car including all occupants. Ice Trak is from £8 for adults, £6 per child. Entry to the Lodge is free with a Lap of Lights ticket. The event opens on 26 November and runs through to 3 January (closed on 29, 30 November and 25 December). Full details and booking at www.silverstone.co.uk
Petrolheadonism Live pulls in to Knebworth House
Petrolheadonism Live is the brand new, ultimate celebration of all things automotive. The huge two-day family event, set in the beautiful grounds of Knebworth House in Stevenage on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th September 2021, will welcome up to 10,000 people per day and bring over 1,000 cars together, including Supercars, Classics, Americana, Highly Modified and much more. Guests will be awestruck at the Hypercar Enclosure with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a stunning selection of exclusive, cutting-edge cars worth over £50 million.
What’s happening at Petrolheadonism Live?
With special guests including Guest of Honour, Richard Rawlings (owner of Gas Monkey Garage and star of Discovery’s Fast ‘n’ Loud TV show) flying in from the USA for his first ever UK automotive event, the Lewis Hamilton Petronas Formula One Simulator, the Superbike enclosure, free entry to Knebworth’s adventure playground, and a host of other entertainment, this is an unmissable weekend for petrol heads and their families.
Petrolheadonism Live has well over 50 car clubs already confirmed to attend. Enthusiasts will be able to engage with car owners to learn more about the incredible array of classics and modern classics on show. Then the Hypercar Enclosure awaits, featuring cars such as the Koenegsigg Regera worth £3.5m, the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing worth £4m, and the Ferrari F50 worth £1.65m to name but a few. Totalling over a staggering £50m of unforgettable, breath-taking cars, the Hypercar Enclosure presented by Zach’s Garage is a true highlight of the Petrolheadonism Live weekend.
The Main Arena will provide entertainment throughout the event and hosts the ‘Petrolheadonism Elite 2021’ competition. Richard Rawlings will be on stage each day and will also judge the competition as seven incredible cars from seven different classes parade across the catwalk each day giving guests the chance to check out these elite cars up close.
Petrolheadonism Live: Guest of Honour Richard Rawlings
Richard Rawlings will be speaking on the Live Stage and making special guest appearances throughout the day, together with his much-loved sidekick, Big Chris. In 2002 Richard Rawlings opened Gas Monkey Garage creating automobiles for customers worldwide. The enterprise became the subject of Discovery Channel’s ‘Fast ‘n’ Loud’ series from 2012 – 2020 turning Rawlings into one of the global automotive scene’s biggest and most influential characters.
He now co-hosts Garage Rehab on Discovery and the Gas Monkey Garage brand extends across a variety of products and genres, even an energy drink. There’s no bigger name out there for petrolheads and his first ever UK car show is a special moment, not to be missed.
For those who have ever watched Lewis Hamilton race and declared ‘I could do that’, the Lewis Hamilton Petronas Formula One Simulator will be at the event. Guests can experience the same training regime as Lewis Hamilton himself and taste the thrilling speeds of Formula One.
The wonderful charity Sporting Bears will also be at Petrolheadonism Live, providing Dream Rides in some amazing cars to raise money for wishes that will be granted by Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity – every penny of every dream ride will add to the £2.5million the Sporting Bears have already raised to date.
There are few better locations than Knebworth House for Petrolheadonism Live. The event will take place right next to the Grade II listed, Tudor Gothic style country house, spreading out to its 250 acre deer park. Knebworth House has hosted huge concerts from the likes of The Rolling Stones, Oasis, and Elton John, and now prepares to welcome the UK’s most fanatical petrol heads and some of the world’s most spectacular and desirable cars.
For those guests bringing kids, the ticket includes on-site parking but also free entrance to the Knebworth adventure playground where kids can enjoy a zip wire, dinosaur trail with 70 life-sized dinosaurs, a maze, water features and much more. When it’s time to recharge the batteries there are plenty of street food and drinks traders on site (and a licensed bar for mum and dad).
Petrolheadonism Live tickets
Tickets for the two-day event cost just £39.50 + b/f (kids £15 + b/f) or £25 + b/f for one day (kids £11.50 + b/f). Available from Event Brite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/general-admission-spectator-tickets-petrolheadonism-live-tickets-157878804755
Micromobility firm Spin launches e-scooter trial in Milton Keynes
Spin, the micromobility unit of Ford Motor Company, announced its e-scooters are now available for public hire in Milton Keynes. This marks the company’s first market in the context of the recently legalised e-scooter trials taking place across the United Kingdom.
Local residents to Milton Keynes may have already started to notice the distinct e-scooters parked in various locations. On Saturday, Spin began ramping up its scooter operations by placing 100 scooters on the streets for residents to begin using. Over the coming weeks and months, Spin plan to steadily increase the number of scooters to 300.
How do I use a Spin e-scooter?
Using one of the Spin e-scooters in Milton Keynes is pretty simple. It is worth noting from the start that these e-scooters are for anyone 18 years old and above. To start your first trip, you will need to download the Spin App on your smartphone, review their comprehensive set of rules and safety guidelines. It is extremely important that you follow the safety guidelines. If you have not used a e-scooter before or consider yourself a novice, we recommend you visit Spin Safe Digital.
Spin Safe Digital is an online learning resource that will teach you how to start and end trips properly and parking techniques to ensure walkways are free of scooter clutter. You can receive a £5 discount if you take an online quiz so it is well worth taking a few minutes to do the quiz.
How much does the Spin e-scooter cost?
The e-scooter costs £0.25 per minute. There are no setup costs or unlock fees during the trial.
Where can I ride the Spin e-Scooter in Milton Keynes
The scooters can be used on the town’s redways, which provide the local community with convenient connectivity across the town.
Milton Keynes has over 200 miles of shared-use paths, known as Redways, for cycling and walking. The traffic-free network covers most of the city estates with some Redways extending out to connect to the older towns. The redways are an important part of Milton Keynes. They are shared-use routes for people on foot or on cycles. The traffic-free network is popular for leisure, for commuting and for staying active. Redways may be used by anyone cycling and walking including people with pushchairs or prams and those in wheelchairs (including powered wheelchairs / mobility scooters). RESPECT OTHERS ON REDWAYS.
How much does the Spin e-scooter cost?
The e-scooter costs £0.25 per minute. There are no setup costs or unlock fees during the trial.
Spin is working closely with Milton Keynes Council to roll out its fleet responsibly, with public safety being the top priority. Over the weekend, the company held a series of public education events for Milton Keynes residents to come out and learn more about how to ride safely. Spin plans to hold several additional safety and public engagement events in the next several weeks to raise awareness and ensure full compliance with local and national rules.
Felix Petersen, Head of Europe at Spin, said “We’re excited to bring the first of our UK e-scooter fleets to Milton Keynes and had a highly-encouraging response from local riders at our Spin Safe events. This is the first of many e-scooters trials across the UK as part of our firm commitment to fully integrate e-scooters into local transportation ecosystems. We hope to responsibly fulfill the need UK residents have for this new transport mode as an accessible, inexpensive and greener alternative to cars and public transport.”
John Lippe, Director of City Engagement at Ford Mobility commented, “Communities around the world are adjusting to this new environment where open-air, sustainable micromobility solutions are not just wanted, but needed for safe travel. We’re ready to bring two wheels to residents throughout the UK with Spin.”