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AIMS: Peugeot leads with RCZ

No go for show: The Peugeot 208 GTi premiered in Paris last month ahead of its arrival in Australian showrooms around May 2013, but don’t expect to see one at this year’s AIMS in Sydney.

Updated RCZ coupe to headline Peugeot’s AIMS stand, alongside regular 208 range

9 Oct 2012

PEUGEOT Australia will fly in an example of the facelifted RCZ coupe – hot from its debut in Paris last month – to headline its stand at this year’s Australian International Motor Show.

The updated version of its slinky coupe will be the only member of a clutch of Peugeots premiered in Paris to make the long journey to Sydney, leaving the 208 GTi, Onyx supercar and 2008 crossover in Europe.

Joining the tweaked RCZ on the stand will be the regular 208 range, launched last month but officially going on sale this weekend, plus other Peugeot models including the 4008, 508, 308 and 3008.

Peugeot Australia PR and promotions manager Jaedene Hudson told GoAuto the company was unable to secure the hot 208 GTi here before the production version hits local showrooms around May next year.

The 2008 crossover appeared in almost production-ready guise in Paris, but will not launch here until the end of 2013, while the jaw-dropping diesel-electric Onyx supercar – regarded by many as the star of the Paris show – is strictly a concept at this stage.

Ms Hudson told us not to expect an announcement at the show regarding Peugeot importer Sime Darby’s expected move to acquire the Australian franchise for fellow PSA brand Citroen.

23 center imageFrom top: Peugeot Onyx concept RCZ R 2008.

Current Citroen importer Ateco Automotive told us in July it would hand over the reins to an independent distributor early next year, and in September announced it had attained the SsangYong rights for Australia from Sime Darby.

The revised RCZ gets Peugeot’s slimmer new corporate grille design, sleeker headlights and more premium cabin surfaces, but unchanged 115kW/240Nm and 147kW/275Nm 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engines (the higher output is with a manual gearbox, the lower with an EGC automatic).

The 120kW/240Nm 2.0-litre diesel version currently sold here is no certainty to be retained, however, since it makes up a tiny proportion of the RCZ’s already tiny sales in Australia (averaging only 15 per month this year).

Also set for Australian sale is a hardcore 194kW RCZ R, which is likely to be offered on a special order basis from the end of next year, but it will not be at the Sydney show.

The classy new 208 range set for AIMS was launched late last month, priced from $18,490 plus on-roads for the base three-cylinder five-door and climbing to $26,490 for the flagship Allure three-door turbo hatch.

The hot GTi will arrive next year powered by a 147kW/275Nm 1.6-litre turbo engine – also used in the RCZ plus a range of BMW Minis – as a chic rival for the Volkswagen Polo GTI, while a luxurious Citroen DS-style 208 XY may also be launched at the same time.

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