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Paris show: Peugeot to rally 208

French rally: Peugeot will give the 208 R5 rally car a public debut at the Paris motor show this month, and it might compete in Australia as soon as 2014.

Type R5 Peugeot 208 rally car to compete in global events from 2013

20 Sep 2012

PEUGEOT is gearing up to unveil a special customer-order 208 rally car built to compete in R5 category tarmac and gravel events, just as the car-maker’s local arm looks at sponsoring a privateer in the 2013 Australia Rally Championship (ARC).

The French company’s successor to the famous 207 Super 2000 rally car will appear in public for the first time at the Paris motor show later this month and compete in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge and European Rally Championship from the second half of next year.

The 208 racer also looks a chance to compete in the ARC from 2014, with Peugeot Australia this week expressing strong interest in backing a program with the 208 from 2014.

Next year, however, it is likely to dip a toe in the water with a rally 207 in privateer hands.

This news comes one week after Ford Australia announced it would make available R1 and R2 specification Fiesta rally cars in the ARC from next year.

The 208 Type R5 ‘competition wildcat’ builds on the sporting pedigree of the imminent, road-going 208 GTI and will be feature the same1.6-litre turbo engine tuned to 210kW/400Nm and matched to a toughened five-speed manual gearbox with sequential control.

Naturally, this power will be channelled through a four-wheel-drive system hooked up to pseudo MacPherson front and rear struts, four-piston brakes a hydraulic-assisted steering system.

Peugeot is aiming for higher performance than the naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre used in the 207 S2000 – which among other titles won the Intercontinental Rally Challenge six times – and an endurance rating of 5000km.

The car also fits into FIA-imposed regulations for the 2013 R5 category including a minimum loose-surface weight of 1200kg (as in WRC), no central differential, long-travel suspension, widened tracks, rear wing, pumped wheel arches and 18-inch wheels.

Cars competing in R5 must also be derived from a road car with at least 25,000 units produced and cost no more on the course than €180,000 ($A225,000).

Project leader for the Type R5 is Bertrand Vallat – the man previously responsible for the 207 S2000 – who will continue working under Peugeot Sport technical manager Alexis Avril.

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