Peugeot rules out RCZ successor

Peugeot explains it wants to focus on its core models.

Peugeot has confirmed that the sleek RCZ coupe will be axed at the end of the current model's life cycle.

"I love the RCZ but I want us to focus on making the best of our core models," explained Peugeot CEO Maxime Picat on the sidelines of the Shanghai Motor Show. "Chasing niches is for premium brands; for us, it has been a distraction."

The move is part of Peugeot-Citro├źn's plan to drop no less than 19 nameplates by the year 2022 in a bid to streamline its operations and become a more profitable company. Hailed as the most powerful street car Peugeot has ever built, the RCZ has been relatively successful for a coupe but it remains a low-volume model that puts a burden on Peugeot's day-to-day operations.

Peugeot has not disclosed when it is planning to deep-six the RCZ. The coupe is undeniably starting to show its age, it went on sale in 2009 and was last updated in 2012, so it will most likely be phased out in the next year or two.

What's next?Although the RCZ is not long for this world, Peugeot is not entirely giving up on performance cars. The automaker's Peugeot Sport division is working overtime to develop a hot-rodded version of the 308 hatchback that will fight head-to-head against the new Volkswagen Golf R and the upcoming Ford Focus RS.

Tentatively scheduled to go on sale in Europe and in China later this year, the yet-unnamed sport-focused 308 will get a muscular look inspired by the 308 R HYbrid that was presented in Shanghai last week and a tuned turbo four that will generate at least 300 horsepower.

Photos by Ronan Glon.

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