In a bid to put persistent rumors to rest regarding the status of the RCZ performance coupe, Peugeot executives revealed that a second generation RCZ coupe is not in the works, and that the current generation model will be axed as part of the company’s shift towards its core products in an effort to boost sales as a whole.
Peugeot CEO Maxime Picat revealed that while he loves the RCZ, it is time to shift the company’s direction stating “I love the RCZ but I want us to focus on making the best of our core models.” Picat elaborated further revealing that Peugeot could potentially be leaving the niche market for the foreseeable future claiming “Chasing niches is for premium brands; for us, it has been a distraction.”
The RCZ’s impending demise is a cog in Peugeot-Citroen’s bold plan of axing a grand total of 19 different nameplates by 2022 with the goal of streamlining its operations, while also improving the firms profitability at the same time. In the case of the RCZ, it was hailed as the most powerful car that Peuegot ever built thanks to its 270 horsepower 1.6 liter turbocharged four cylinder, and while it has been somewhat of a success for the company, its place in the niche market as well as its status as a relatively low production model have put a strain on Peugeot’s day to day operations. The company has not revealed when it plans to formally send the RCZ to the automotive graveyard, but the coupe has shown some signs of aging since it thundered its way onto European roads back in 2009. An update in 2012 helped the RCZ still retain some of its unique charm but expect the company to drop the guillotine on the RCZ sometime in the next two to three years.
While the RCZ’s days on this planet may indeed be numbered, Peuegot is not necessarily abandoning the performance car segment outright. For instance the company’s “Peuegot Sport Division” is currently developing a spicier version of the 308 hatchback that is expected to go toe-to-toe with rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf R as well as the recently unveiled Ford Focus RS. While it is unknown what the new model will be formally called, look for it to go on sale later this year in Europe and China with more information expected to be unveiled closer to its official debut at a future auto show. It is rumored that much of its exterior styling will be inspired by the 308 R HYbrid that was unveiled in Shanghai with a tricked out turbocharged four cylinder producing 300 horsepower.