Redesigned face gives the RCZ a more elegant personality.
Redesigned face gives the RCZ a more elegant personality.
194kW performance model will take the fight to the Scirocco R.
194kW performance model will take the fight to the Scirocco R.

Few would argue that the RCZ is the best looking modern Peugeot but until now it has been stuck with Peugeot's old facial design stamp.

The facelifted model, just revealed in France, gets rid of that 'big mouth', replacing it with a smaller and more elegant grille that's in line with newer Peugeots like the 208 and 508.

Just because it's more elegant, however, doesn't mean it's going soft. Just the opposite, in fact.

Towards the end of 2013, Peugeot plans to unleash a 194kW performance version, which will be previewed by the RCZ R Concept at the Paris Motor Show later this month.

The most powerful Peugeot production model ever, the RCZ R will take the battle to VW's Scirocco R with a 194kW version of Peugeot's familiar 1.6-litre turbopetrol engine.

Helping it harness this extra urge in the neatest way possible, the R also comes with bigger wheels, a sportier suspension set-up and a Torsen limited slip differential.

The rest of the facelifted RCZ range will go on sale internationally during the first quarter of 2013.

While its uniquely sexy shape, with its double-bubble roof, has been left untouched, this RCZ has a brand new front end in which a smaller main grille is accentuated by a lower air intake that's extended on each side by a unique light signature consisting of six LEDs sculpted in the form of claws.

Small changes abound inside the cabin, where buyers will find a gear lever surround covered in lacquered black and (on GT models), aluminium inserts on the dashboard and centre console and door trim pads trimmed with leather inserts.

Customers will also enjoy a beefed up options range, said to allow each to create his or her own vehicle character.

On the outside, this extends to a lacquered black grille bar option, a choice of three roof arch colours (aluminium, sand or matt black), a matt black pack for the arches and exterior mirrors and three new types of bodywork decals. There are also ten alloy wheel options to choose from, including two brand new designs.

Mechanically the RCZ remains largely as before, with the European engine range offering a choice between 115kW and 147kW 1.6 turbopetrol engines and a 120kW 2-litre turbodiesel.