Peugeot 208 R2 – Hot 208 rally car begins testing

Latest challenger runs 1.2-litre, three-cylinder turbo engine

Peugeot’s small road cars have experienced various ups and downs over the years, but one thread has bound every generation since the 205 together: rallying.

The latest Peugeot 208 R2 continues that chain. Based on the latest 208 supermini first seen at the Geneva motor show earlier in the year, the 208 R2 competes in the eponymous R2 rallying category (technically R2C), comprising two-wheel-drive cars of no less than 1080kg, powered by either 1.6- or 2-litre naturally aspirated engines, or 1067-1333cc turbocharged units.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Subscribe now and get your first 5 issues for £5 or buy the latest issue in all good newsagents!

> All future Peugeot Sport models to be electrified

As such, Peugeot has chosen to run its 1.2-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged PureTech engine in the latest 208 R2. Three cylinders might seem like an odd choice, but with Ford also running a three-cylinder in its R2 Fiesta it illustrates the close parity with production models.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The 208 R2 has been in development since last summer and has now begun testing ahead of deliveries ready for the 2020 season. Peugeot hasn’t confirmed specification details of the car, but with a new turbocharger, a motorsport engine management system and a new gearbox, it’s likely to be a significant step up over the production car’s 127bhp. For reference, Ford’s 200cc-smaller EcoBoost unit makes a Fiesta ST-matching 197bhp in R2 trim.

Utilising the new 208’s CMP platform the base car should also be lighter than the previous 208 R2, a car Peugeot sold 450 examples of over its rallying career. While the R2 class minimum weight limit will restrict the benefits of a lightweight platform, it should give Peugeot Sport engineers more options on the technical side and when positioning ballast.

Bruno Famin, director at Peugeot Sport, said the following of the new car. ‘With the new Peugeot 208 R2, 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.’

Famin added that the car will now begin testing on a variety of surfaces and in differing conditions; an important factor when R2 cars compete in the same rallies as the main WRC circus.

Above all, it’s the first true performance model we’ve seen from the new 208 range. While the next 208 GTi is likely to be quite different from the outgoing model and the R2 car – likely packing some kind of hybrid technology – Peugeot Sport’s close links between motorsport activities and road cars should enable lessons learned on the R2 car to make their way into future GTis.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/toyota/yaris/201932/toyota-yaris-gr-4-hot-hatchback-teased-successor-to-the-grmn-and-a-true-wrc
Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris GR-4 hot hatchback teased – successor to the GRMN and a true WRC homologation special

6 Nov 2019
Visit/audi/r8/201931/entry-level-audi-r8-v10-rwd-added-to-the-range
Audi R8

Entry-level Audi R8 V10 RWD added to the range

6 Nov 2019
Visit/bmw/m2/201929/track-only-bmw-m2-cs-racing-unveiled
BMW M2

Track-only BMW M2 CS Racing unveiled 

6 Nov 2019
Visit/volvo/v90
Volvo V90 estate

2019 Volvo V90 T6 R-design review - the great estate?

5 Nov 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/alfa-romeo/21322/alfa-romeo-to-launch-new-700bhp-8c-and-600bhp-gtv-coupe
Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo culls sports car programme in wake of FCA merger

Italian’s future performance models killed off in favour of more profitable SUVs
11 Nov 2019
Visit/caterham/201924/caterham-620r-v-ariel-atom-35-v-elemental-rp1
Caterham

Caterham 620R v Ariel Atom 3.5 v Elemental Rp1

Flight Club - lightweight track day toys with heavyweight powertrains, Steve Sutcliffe compares them on track at Anglesey circuit in Wales
5 Nov 2019
Visit/maserati/granturismo/201792/maserati-granturismo-zeda-run-out-model-revealed
Maserati GranTurismo

Maserati GranTurismo Zéda run-out model revealed

It’s out with the old, in with the new as the final GranTurismo paves the way for Maserati’s ambitious electrified future
12 Nov 2019
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019