French automaker Peugeot has been a staple in the rally scene for as long as we can remember. So when word leaks out that they’re planning to reveal their next generation rally car, people tend to take notice.
At the 2012 Paris Motor Show later this month, Peugeot is bringing the all-new 208 Type R5, the car that’s slated to become their new prized steed at the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
Needless to say, the 208 Type R5 has some pretty big shoes to fill in large part because its successor, the 207 Super 2000 , rang up championships - three IRC drivers and manufacturers titles - during its time at the IRC.
The racer will have to adhere to regulations set by S2000 category. What that means is that the 208 Type R5 has been fitted with a number of racing components, including widened tracks, a spoiler, an increase in the wheel arches to accommodate a new set of 18" wheels. All these were done while keeping attention on the series’ minimum weight set of 1,200kg for the gravel and asphalt versions.
"Based on an optimisation of costs", explains Bertrand Vallat, the Type R5’s project leader, "the regulations impose, among other things, a maximum price for certain parts and technical limitations such as a minimum weight of components of the chassis and engine. In addition, a certain number of components of the vehicle must be similar. The hub carrier is a perfect example. All four must be identical. This makes operation considerably easier and limits costs and stocking."
The 208 Type R5 is powered by a 1.6-liter turbo engine that produces 280 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 295 lb/ft of torque at 2,500 rpm. The four-wheel drive system sends power to all four wheels thanks to a 5-speed sequential gearbox and two self-locking differentials.
As far as expectations are concerned, Peugeot is shooting for the stars, Vallat said: “The regulations impose, among other things, a maximum price for certain parts and technical limitations such as a minimum weight of components of the chassis and engine.”
“We are aiming for performance which is slightly higher than S2000,” he adds.
UPDATE 1/25/2013: The 208 Type R5 has just completed its second round of testing and it is all set to be delivered. According the Peugeot, it will open its order book in March 2013, so race teams mark your calenders!
UPDATE 05/01/13: The 208 Type R5 has been re-christened as the 208 T16 and Peugeot has released a new video of the rally car in action. Check it out by clicking on the photo above.