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Brand New Peugeot 308

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Tony O'Kane | Jun 25, 2009

PEUGEOT'S SLEEK 308 RC-Z has been spotted out and about in prototype form, undergoing fine-tuning for what many believe will be a Frankfurt Auto Show debut later this year.

Since first breaking cover at the 2007 Frankfurt show, the 308 RC-Z has become a favourite among Peugeot fans and, when it eventually makes it to the showroom, will be the French automaker's most overtly sporty model in its line-up.

Powertrain details are scarce, but current rumours place the MINI John Cooper Work's turbocharged 1.6 litre four-pot under the bonnet of a hi-po model, while a lower-powered 1.6 litre petrol and 2.0 litre turbodiesel may also be sourced from PSA's extensive engineering parts bin.

Like the 308 hatch with which it shares a model designation, the RC-Z will likely be a front-driver only.

peugeot_308_rc-z_spypic_05_s

But while the 308 RC-Z's mechanical package is still the subject of speculation, we do at least have a clear idea of what it will look like.

These images of a lightly-camouflaged prototype testing in Spain shows that the sensuous curves displayed on the 2007 concept have transferred to the production model almost entirely unchanged. Even the longitudinal 'dip' that starts in the roof, rolls down the rear window and terminates just above the bootlid is still there, as is the staggered beltline and intricate, widemouthed front bumper.

peugeot_308_rc-z_spypic_02_s

Although not strictly a direct competitor, the 308 RC-Z will inevitably be compared to its German counterpart, the Audi TT.

Given the ability of the TT to take its power to all four wheels via Audi's quattro AWD system, it may not be a fair comparison, but if these photos are anything to go by Peugeot may have the aesthetic edge over the German.

If the rumours are true, we'll find out for sure at Frankfurt on September 17.

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