Peugeot Sport has unveiled the 208 R2, the first competition version of its 208 model, which will undergo a test of fire this week at the Tour de Corse in France. Peugeot 208’s competition version, dubbed as R2, will be driven as a “zero” car by Stéphane Sarrazin and Benjamin Veillas at the Tour de Corse on May 10 to May 12.
The 208 R2 will be powered by a naturally-aspirated, 1600cc engine specifically developed to comply with Group R racing regulations. The R2’s engine was based on the 1.6 VTi made for some variants of the 208 road car, which is currently on sale across Europe. Peugeot Sports developed the engine to reach the 185-hp limit set on the racing brief.
Peugeot Sports, however, managed to retain the engine’s good qualities -- low fuel consumption and low CO2 emissions – despite the tuning done. Peugeot Sports endowed R2’s engine with variable valve timing (VVT) for the intake and exhaust.
Peugeot Sports also succeeded in complying with Group R regulations that sets the valve size of the racing engine to be the same as the standard one. Peugeot Sports will unveil the remaining two versions later this year.
The first one will be a circuit version that will bear specifications similar to the 208 R2. The second version, to be unveiled in September, will be a racing version that complies with the FIA's R5 regulations, and is touted to replace the successful 207 Super 2000 rally car at a national and international level. The Peugeot 208 combines the best features of the 205, 206, 207, under the company’s ‘spirit of re-generation' maxim.
Peugeot R2 was designed in such a way that it is not only indispensable but also a leader in its model line-up. It is the ideal choice for those who are just beginning in the field of rallying as well as the experienced aficionados because it is both affordable and competitive.
In the later part of 2011, the 208 R2 had its first taste of the road. It was made to replace the existing 207 RC Rallye both as the main attraction for Peugeot’s ‘Volant’ single make series and as a contender in its class both in the national and international stage.
Although automakers such as Ford, Renault and Citroën have their own line of R2 cars, Peugeot Sport on the other hand, is making a name for itself and is steadily rising as the new benchmark for its class – in terms of performance and low competing costs. And since motorsport is quite dangerous, reliability became one of the priorities in creating the 208 R2, focusing heavily on transmission, electrics and electronics.
Moreover, only a minimum number of parts is needed to convert from gravel- to asphalt-spec (and vice versa) which means it is more convenient for its drivers; that is, most parts and assemblies are shared for both versions (as much as possible) and with the guidance of the PSA group’s customer competition catalogue.
The 208 R2 has a so-called “regenerated” styling, a “fresh interpretation” of Peugeot’s signature styling in terms of its underlying principles and detailing. It has a compact form as well as short overhangs and a smooth transition between its bonnet and windscreen pillars.
Upfront, the 208 R2 exudes a certain charisma featuring its new signature front end and a more modern and sophisticated feline look. It will come off as intimidating but it is actually lively, while still exuding a sense of warmth and sexiness. It is also very hi-tech but is user-friendly and naturally sophisticated.
According to project leader, Yann Goraguer, the 208 R2’s technical regeneration can only be described by one word – lightweight. It weighs approximately 40 kg lighter than its predecessor, the 207.
The 208 prides itself for its overall volumes while designed with a long wheelbase “to ensure excellent stability”. To be able to provide an outstanding road holding for the 208 R2, certain adjustments had to be made, including weight-saving (to help lower its center of gravity), optimization of the location of the most weight, and the reduction of its intrinsically low inertia of such a vehicle with short overhangs.