2012 Paris Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- The racing-only Peugeot 208 Type R5 will debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show.
- The car is based on the Peugeot 208 compact hatchback.
- It will conform to specifications of the new R5 category and will begin competing in mid-2013.
PARIS — The Peugeot 208 Type R5 rally car, lighter and more powerful than its predecessor, the 207 Super S2000, will be unveiled next week at the 2012 Paris Auto Show and will go into action in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge and other racing series in mid-2013.
This race version of the workaday Peugeot 208 hatchback goes on sale in the second half of 2013.
The new car has a tough act to follow. Since its debut in 2006, the 207 has won six Intercontinental championships and a number of titles and major events in other series.
As its name indicates, the 208 Type R5 will race in the new R5 category coming to Europe in 2013. Most specifications carry over from the FIA's Super 2000 classification, but engine size will be reduced from 2.0 to 1.6 liters.
"We start with the 1.6-liter THP engine that is already a competition winner," said Bertrand Vallat, project leader for the 207 S2000 and now in the same role with the 208 R5. "We know that it is both reliable and powerful, and can achieve 280 horsepower."
Peugeot Sport, the automaker's racing division, has released specs on the 208 Type R. Peak torque for the car's turbocharged inline-4 is 295 pound-feet at 2,500 rpm, while redline is 7,500 rpm. The development team is "aiming for performance which is slightly higher than that of the S2000," Vallat said.
The new car will inherit attributes of the 208 production car, such as a body shell that is nearly 90 pounds lighter than the 207. Its ready-to-race weight of approximately 2,600 pounds reflects that reduction.
Like the 207, the 208 R5 will feature four-wheel drive, a five-speed sequential gearbox, no central differential and, typical of rally cars, long-travel suspension. The car's wheelbase (slightly more than 100 inches) will provide stable handing on asphalt and gravel surfaces, says Peugeot.
As the development program will delay the debut of the car until the middle of the 2013 season, the automaker isn't expecting to contend for championship titles until 2014 in the Intercontinental and European rally championship series, plus various national competitions.
The FIA's R5 specifications impose a maximum cost of €180,000 (about $232,000) before taxes.
Edmunds says: Peugeot Sport has a rich history in rally. It won four World Rally Championship titles and has been dominant in lower-tier series since it left WRC at the end of 2005.