With the all-new 208 supermini about to hit UK showrooms early next month, Peugeot has just announced they will be making a rally version of the supermini.
Finished in a black and white livery, the 208 R2 will be the first of three competition cars to be spawned from the 208 range. The car comes with a number of improvements over the 207 RC Rallye, which it will replace.
It will be powered by an industry-specified naturally-aspirated 1.6 VTi producing 185bhp and developed by Peugeot Sport. The firm says it's more focused on flexibility rather than peak power. A close collaboration with French engine tuning company Sodemo on the R2’s engine and the use of variable valve timing are to thank for the impressive output. That engine is hooked up to a five-speed sequential shift gearbox.
The 208’s project leader, Yann Goraguer says the steering has also been overhauled: “The use of a hydraulic system (instead of electric power steering) gives more accurate feedback, notably on loose surfaces” which will help when the going gets slippery.
The 208’s bodyshell has shed around 40kg in weight, which not only aids its fuel consumption and emissions, but actually lowers the cars’ centre of gravity. This works with its long wheelbase to enhance roadholding.
Safety has also been improved thanks to the strengthened body and a new multi-point welded roll cage.
Rally enthusiasts will see the R2’s debut at the French Tour de Corse, the fourth round of the 2012 intercontinental Rallye Challenge from the 10–12 May. The two other versions won’t be unveiled until later in the year.
Two kits will also be available to convert the asphalt version of the car to gravel trim, and vice versa.
Prices for gravel and asphalt versions of the 208 R2 will be approximately £35,000 in kit form, but you will have to pay around £16,200 more to buy one fully assembled.