It didn’t take long for Peugeot Sport to put its mark on the all-new 208 supermini following the road car’s Geneva Motor Show world debut.
Peugeot’s performance and motorsport division unveiled the 208 R2, the first rally version based on the new generation model. The new rally car recently turned a wheel for the first time in the Vosges region of France as it entered the dynamic phase of testing.
Peugeot Sport wants the new 208 R2 to follow in the footsteps (or should we say tire tracks) of the previous-generation model which was the best-selling rally car in the history of the company as well as the best-seller in the category. Peugeot Sport built more than 450 units of the outgoing 208 R2.
For its successor, Peugeot Sport used a three-cylinder 1.2-liter turbocharged PureTech gasoline engine, making it eligible for FIA R2C regulations. Engineers have adapted the engine for competition by adding a bigger turbo, motorsport engine management system, and a new gearbox. No specs have been released but Peugeot Sport director Bruno Famin says the new engine “will lead to a substantial increase in performance.”
The folks from Peugeot Sport have been working on the car since summer 2018 and their brief was quite straightforward: “create a rapid and reliable car that’s great fun to drive, but also benefits from running costs that are as low as possible.”
The results of the first tests suggest that these objectives are already being met, Peugeot Sport claims. Based on the all-new Peugeot 208, the 208 R2 benefits from all the technical and aesthetic evolutions present on the road car — chief of which is the new CMP platform which offers reduced weight and enhanced vehicle dynamics.
Peugeot Sport’s goal is to deliver the first cars in time for the 2020 season.