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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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.”
Bedford Mayor announces Town centre boost ahead of re-opening
Bedford Mayor Dave Hodgson has announced a boost for businesses in the town centre which will see changes to encourage pedestrians and cyclists.
Traffic on the High Street will be reduced to one lane with average speed cameras to reinforce the 20mph speed limit. The scheme will help pedestrians to visit High Street shops whilst socially distancing, particularly around people who may be queueing for shops.
This work was already planned via the Transporting Bedford project this summer and, while permanent works have had to be put on hold due to the outbreak, these changes will deliver wider pavements and a more pleasant shopping experience, supporting our town centre at this difficult time. Space will be kept available for deliveries to be made to shops.
The announcement brings forward the longer-term plans for the High Street by installing semi-permanent bollards to demarcate the walking areas. The Council has been awarded £121,000 by from the Government emergency active travel fund to help with the cost of the works.
The High Street works will form part of a wider provision for pedestrians and cyclists which will also see the addition of new cycle lanes and markings on four roads: River Street, Greyfriars, Bromham Road and the Embankment.
Mayor Dave Hodgson said “We have been working to find ways to make it easier for people to visit our town centre businesses, and to be able to walk and cycle to where they need to go. These improvements will help people to feel safe and welcome when they visit our town centre for their essentials, and the schemes for cyclists will hopefully give more people the confidence to try commuting by bike.”
Cllr Henry Vann, Portfolio Holder for Town Centres said “We are working to support town centre businesses, to remind people to stay safe, and to ensure that people feel safe when visiting essential stores in line with Government guidelines and abiding by social distancing not just for their own safety but for the safety of others. Creating this additional space for pedestrians by widening the pavements on the High Street will help people feel safer visiting essential shops in the town, and make it easier for businesses to keep operating at what is a very difficult time.”
The High Street works are expected to start during week commencing Monday 22 June, with the works on the new cycle lanes expected to take place later in the summer.
Watford gets set for indoor karting in Spring 2020
TeamSport, the UK’s largest indoor karting company, is fast, furious and growing. What’s more, its next track is scheduled to open in Watford in Spring 2020! It will create over 25 full and part time jobs in the local area, ranging from talented managers to customer service champions and our behind the scenes heroes – mechanics!
Located on the Greatham Road Industrial Estate, Bushey, the £1.35m development will attract families, fun seekers and corporate parties to a safe, fun and awesome indoor karting and leisure experience. Inside the venue, customers will experience a professionally designed multi-level circuit with thrilling straights, hair raising bends and jaw-dropping ramps for up to 16 karters at a time.
Dominic Gaynor, Managing Director of TeamSport Indoor Karting said: “Myself and the rest of the TeamSport crew are really excited about the launch of the newest track in Watford in April 2020. We’re looking forward to working with Watford’s thriving community and being able to create some exciting, progressive and flexible new jobs for the area in the process.