Peugeot’s 208 Type R5 is a new entry in the 208 range of sports variants. It comes after the success of the 208 R2. It has been described to be a true ‘competition wildcat’. It is expected to take over from the 207 Super 2000 – the benchmark of the S2000 category because of its technical performance as well as for its sporting and commercial features.
208 Type R5, which was announced at the end of last year, will be presented at the upcoming Paris Motor Show. Peugeot's rallying tradition is evident in its contours and its technical assets.
Peugeot 208 Type R5 has a ‘body built’ for asphalt (tarmac) and loose-surfaces (gravel). It’s expected to compete in its first rallies and will start selling in the second half of 2013 so that it could win the national and international championships the next season.
The 207 Super 2000 is a pioneer so it received all the awards and in fact, it holds the greatest record in the category. It has gotten six Intercontinental Rally Challenge titles, numerous trophies in different national championships and plenty more victories worldwide such as San Remo, the Tour de Corse and the Monte Carlo.
Of these vehicles, 117 have been sold, driven by private customers, importers or on behalf of Peugeot subsidiaries in the following places: South Africa, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic and in the UK.
Notably, drivers such as Thierry Neuville and Kris Meeke were ‘discovered’ and sharpened their skills at this car. The 208 Type R5 will need to prove that is a commendable successor to the 207 Super 2000. The credit for the 208 Type R5 goes to its project leader Alexis Avril, who is the Technical Manager of Peugeot Sport, Bertrand Vallat, previously in-charge of the 207 S2000.
The R5 classification is made up of group A cars born from a production model, of which around 25,000 must have been manufactured. Released for 2013 by the FIA, its goals include significant decrease in overall costs, manufacturing included. These technical regulations will be patterned from the major features of the S2000 category: 4WD, five-speed sequential gearbox, long travel suspension and no central differential. This is also what is seen in the exterior with broader tracks, a spoiler, making the wheel arches larger to fit 18" wheels putting to mind the minimum weight set at 1200kg for the gravel (loose-surface) and asphalt (tarmac) version, for the WRC.
Bertrand Vallat explains that based on improving the costs, the regulations require, among other concerns, a maximum price for certain car parts and technical limits such as a minimum weight of parts of the engine and chassis. Also, a particular number of components of the car must be in tune with each other -- like the hub carrier. All four must look the same. This makes production easier and cuts costs and stocking.
Another big difference is the engine. The 2.0 L naturally aspirated unit is taken over by the 1.6 L turbo. The Peugeot 208 R5 will have the EP6 CDT as a basic setup. Vallat further stresses that they want to achieve a performance which is somehow higher than that of the S2000.
They begin with the 1.6 L THP engine that is hands down a competition champ already. They know that it is powerful and reliable and can reach 280bhp. The foundation on which the engine is built is seriously well thought of as it is similar to that of the RCZ Racing Cup which now develops 260 HP in its endurance version. They also want to achieve a particularly high level of reliability and durability to stand 5000 km (according to the conditions and components), which will also cut down costs of operation. Finally, the FIA has also announced the max price for the 'R5s' at €180,000 -- taxes not included.