The all-new PEUGEOT 208R2 has been put through its paces for the first time in the Vosges region of France in its next stage of testing.
The PEUGEOT 208R2 is PEUGEOT SPORT’s successor to the current PEUGEOT 208 R2 and is based on the all-new PEUGEOT 208 road car, which was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland just last month.
The car has a new three-cylinder 1.2-litre turbocharged PureTech engine, which makes it eligible for FIA R2C regulations.
PEUGEOT SPORT’s engineers have been hard at work on this completely new car since last summer which benefits from all the technical and aesthetic updates that you will find on the road car. The team were tasked with creating a new car that was fast, reliable and great fun to drive, but at the same time benefitting from low running costs to make it as economical as possible.
There is no doubt that the challenges that lie ahead for the new PEUGEOT 208R2 are immense, as its predecessor became the most popular rally car that PEUGEOT has ever designed and built as well as the most popular car in this category, with over 450 examples. Initial tests however, would seem as if the engineers at PEUGEOT SPORT have succeeded.
The new 1.2-litre, three-cylinder engine has been adapted by PEUGEOT SPORT for competition by adding a much larger turbo, motorsport engine management system and new gearbox. The platform common to all PSA B segment cars, offers reduced weight and enhanced vehicle dynamics to make the car’s performance feel sportier.
PEUGEOT SPORT director Bruno Famin says of the project: “I’ve been very pleased to see the first tests of the latest car from PEUGEOT Sport: the new PEUGEOT 208R2. This is a very important event for PEUGEOT Sport, as customer competition is more than ever the key focus of our activity. With the new PEUGEOT 208R2, we want to offer our customers a competitive and reliable car that’s a lot of fun to drive yet with minimal running costs: there’s no reason to change the winning formula in R2! The improvement comes above all thanks to the new 1.2-litre turbo PureTech engine, which will lead to a substantial increase in performance. Now we’re getting the test phase underway, which is a key step. The goal within the next few months will be to build on that and gain the maximum amount of experience and data through a number of other tests on all sorts of surfaces and in a variety of conditions. This will allow us to define and then confirm the car’s final technical specification, in order to be ready to attack the 2020 season!”
The company’s objective is to have the first cars ready for delivery in time for the 2020 season.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photo credit: ©PEUGEOT Sport / Flavien Duhamel