Having a model that is hugely successful is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s very profitable, on the other, when it comes time to replace it… Problem. How to repeat the exploit? Peugeot got to know it when renewing the 205, which it was only really able to do after 15 years with the 206. This one sold even better than its predecessor, so the puzzle head takes place again for the Sochaux firm at the time of renewing it! She answers it in a classic way. First by recovering platform 2, inaugurated by the Citroen C3 in 2002. Then, by trying to update the design of the 206, which has done so much for its success. The team led by Gérard Welter produced a design which was fairly criticized when the 207 was released in 2006.
And yet! There are plenty of finds. If we recognize the influence of the 206, we note for example the very original wheel arches, with cutaways instead of being widened, as is fashionable. But it’s the front end, with the oversized headlights and the gaping-mouth grille that arouses reservations, despite the aggressiveness it suggests.
Some would suggest that the Peugeot style is self-caricatured, but the 207 lacks neither dynamism nor charisma. Moreover, despite fierce competition (Renault Clio III, Fiat Grande Punto), she had a very encouraging start to her career.
And from 2007, it comes in a sporty version: the RC. Letters already seen on the most powerful of the 206, which was equipped with a 2.0 l atmo of 177 hp. The 207 cannot accommodate such a large block (its platform prohibits it), it is content with a 1.6 l. But not just any: the THP, studied jointly with BMW. Equipped with a twin-entry turbo, direct injection and variable intake, it is ultramodern, which allows it to develop 175 hp.
This is less than the 201 hp of the Clio RS, but here it is, its torque is much higher: 260 Nm with the overboost, against 215 at the Renault. All the best for the retakes! In fact, it is the block of the 207 150 hp, released a few months earlier. Faced with this, the RC adopts a hardened suspension, a front axle articulated on ball joints, reinforced brakes, enlarged rims (17 inches), a louder exhaust and modified gearbox ratios. However, the 207 is hampered by its weight, which is 150 kg higher than that of the 206, for a total of 1,250 kg. Huge, but the Clio is hardly better off.
In the passenger compartment of the Peugeot, we note the appearance of beautiful leather-Alcantara bucket seats, while auto air conditioning, cruise control, reversing radar and sound system are standard. At €22,500 (current €26,500 according to INSEE), we are not robbed.
Unfortunately, because of its too discreet decoration and a lack of promotion (it will not be WRC world champion, unlike the 206), the 207 RC will sell modestly, despite the appearance of a very interesting version SW, and will disappear from 2010, not without having undergone a very slight restyling at the end of 2009.
How much does it cost ?
While the rating of small sports cars tends to rise, that of the forgotten 207 RC remains low. Good examples can be found from €3,000, with a total of more than 200,000 km. Sign of great endurance! At €5,000, the mileage drops to around 150,000, and at €6,500, you get closer to 100,000 km. They can even be found within 80,000 km for around €7,500.
Which version to choose?
Coach or SW, it’s a matter of need. Above all, opt for a car in the best possible condition and rigorously maintained.
There are many 3-doors, but very few SW: so opt for this one, as small breaks as powerful are a rare commodity.
What to monitor?
We have criticized the reliability of the THP block a lot and we were right because it experienced many problems at the start of its career, whether at PSA or Mini. In question, the distribution chain which slackens or shifts, the high pressure pump, the turbo which yields, and various capricious sensors. That said, these damages have often occurred at fairly low mileage, so we can estimate that well-maintained cars have, over time, been corrected. And the fact is that we find high kilometers.
For the rest, it’s rather classic and without major weakness, but we will pay particular attention to the sensitive elements on a small sports car: running gear, brakes, transmission elements. Finally, electronic bugs are not uncommon (but not excessive either), as on the vast majority of cars of this era.
Personally, I much prefer the line of the 207 to that of the first 208, stunted. Inside, the style has aged rather well, but I wouldn’t say the same for the ergonomics, with this central console whose profusion of buttons makes a mess. Fortunately, well wedged in the tub, we enjoy an impeccable driving position. The behavior of the engine is the opposite of that of the Clio III RS.
Ultra-flexible, the block of the 207 RC allows astonishing pick-up from low revs, even in higher gears, and is full of punch at mid-range. It works really well! On the other hand, the THP does not give much past 5,500 rpm, where the 2.0 l of the Renault wakes up. In any case, in everyday use, the 207 RC is much more punchy and efficient. While making a lot of noise, even if the sound of the THP is rather pleasant.
If the Peugeot takes the advantage mechanically, it marks a little step on the chassis side. Not by handling. It is remarkable, thanks to the significant grip and the good general balance. But, while it was the strong point of the 205 and 206 (to a lesser extent), the 207 is not very playful: it remains riveted to its trajectory, the stern accepting only difficulty to pick up. The opposite, again, of the Clio RS.
In addition, because of the weight, the damping remains without nuance, a little too firm in everyday use and not absorbent enough in sporty driving on the asperities, even if the comfort remains adequate. Finally, the steering wheel and the gearbox control prove to be too soft, even if the precision is there. In short, the 207 RC is more of a GT than a GTI, and used as such, it will be very satisfying. While consuming little, less than 8 l/100 km in current driving.
The youngtimer alternative
Peugeot 206 RC (2003 – 2006)
Predecessor of the 207 RC, the 206 RC differs greatly in its mechanics (a 2.0 l atmo of 177 hp), its lower weight and its rear suspension with independent wheels. Fast (220 km / h), nervous (0 to 100 km / h in 7.5 s), and efficient, the gradually begins to find its letters of nobility with enthusiasts, hence its rising rating. It must also be said that her notoriety was reinforced by the career of the 206 in the WRC, where she was world champion. Relatively little produced, the 206 RC can be found from €7,000.
Peugeot 207 RC (2007), the technical sheet
- Engine: 4-cylinder in line, 1560 cc
- Fuel supply: direct injection, turbo
- Suspension: McPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar (AV); torsion axle, coil springs anti-roll bar (rear)
- Transmission: 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive
- Power: 175 hp at 6,000 rpm
- Torque: 260 Nm at 1,600 rpm
- Weight: 1250 kg
- Maximum speed: 220 km/h (manufacturer data)
- 0 to 100 km/h: 7.6 s (manufacturer data)
To find a used Peugeot 207 RC, go to the website of The power plant