The Frankfurt Motor Show 2003 marks a third important event in the recent sporting history of Automobiles Peugeot: following on from February 1983 and the presentation of the 205 Turbo 16 jointly with the marketing of its little sister, the 205, and then June 1998 with the simultaneous presentation of the 206 and its sports derivative the 206 WRC, it is today the turn of the 307 to enhance its range with the arrival of the ’World Rally Championship’ version: the 307 WRC.
Based on the top-of-the-range version of the 307CC fitted with an engine developing 180 bhp, the 307 WRC is Peugeot’s next weapon, its destiny being to replace the 206 WRC at exactly the right moment - it is currently triple world champion. Its arrival in the coupé version will be the result of the great advances in development and the still formidable competitive capacity of the 206 WRC which has enabled the Peugeot Sport team to perfect the vehicle before launching the 307 WRC in competition. Its wheels first turned on Christmas Eve 2002; since then the test sessions have become more frequent, both off and on road.
Pre-planning studies began 15 months ago, a choice finally being made in favour of a CC version of the 307, at the request of Peugeot management and the Marketing department, production of an even more effective version of the Coupé Cabriolet also being a top priority. Although heavier than the saloon, like any coupé cabriolet the 307 CC requires a certain number of stiffeners; the 307 WRC project benefited from the new legislation which increased the minimum legal weight of the body to 320 kg. The folding parts forming the roof of the cabriolet are now fixed.
One innovation is the 307 WRC gearbox, a 5 speed Hewland, which is located at the rear of the engine in a transverse position, contrary to the one on the 206 WRC which is in a longitudinal position. A conical counter gear situated behind the centre differential provides the drive to the rear wheels. The three differentials - front, centre and rear - are electronically managed.