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by Tim Beissmann

The Peugeot 208 R2 rally car – the first motorsports model based on the French manufacturer’s all-new light hatchback – has been revealed ahead of its debut at this week’s Tour de Corse in France.

Peugeot describes the 208 R2 as “the ideal choice for those who want to get their first taste of rallying”, offering a modern package that draws on the spirit of the 205 and 206 with the functionality of the 207.

Replacing the 207 RC Rallye, the 208’s body shell is around 40kg lighter, reducing its centre of gravity and improving its stability and road-holding ability.

The all-new 1600cc petrol engine is based on the 1.6 VTi offered in the production car line-up and has been tuned by Peugeot Sport to develop 138kW of power and 190Nm of torque. The five-speed manual sequential gearbox with steering column-mounted lever is identical to that used in the 207 S2000 car. The transmission is a significant evolution for a car in the R2 class, where the gearshift is generally mounted on the floor.

The 208 R2 gets a new adjustable hydraulic bump stop suspension feature and a hydraulic steering system, which is designed to give more accurate feedback, especially on loose surfaces.

The brakes, clutch and wheels are dictated strictly by the category’s regulations, and Peugeot Sport’s partner Michelin has carried out the tyre development work.

Gravel and asphalt versions of the Peugeot 208 R2 will be available in unbuilt kit form – including fully built engine – for 37,500 euros ($48,200), or ready to race for 57,500 euros ($73,900).

Peugeot will unveil its R5-specification 208 rally car in September, which will take over from the 207 Super 2000 on the international stage.




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