Next week at the Tour de Corse rally Peugeot will officially put its new 208 R2 rally car in action with Peugeot Sport driver Stéphane Sarrazin at the wheel. The 208 R2 will replace the 207 RC as Peugeot’s new affordable Group R competition car. The car is based on the production 208, converted into a rally car with the least changes possible.
The 208 will be a different beast than the 207, as it’s 40 kg lighter and features a strengthened shell with a multi-point, welded roll cage. Engine-wise, and because of the Group R regulations, the R2 is powered by a brand new, naturally-aspirated, 1600cc engine based on the 1.6 VTi – available for certain versions of the 208 road car – with 185hp.
I does however gets a five-speed, manual, sequential gearbox with the lever mounted on the steering column like proper rally cars. The gearbox itself features innovative cooling with an air duct at the front of the car which channels cooling air to fins built into the front part of the casing which help dissipate heat and cool the oil. It is such a joy driving a rally stage with sequential gearbox like this. It works better than paddle shifters.
Other features include three-way adjustable dampers, plus a new, bespoke adjustable hydraulic bump, hydraulic steering system, single caliper brakes, and rally tires.
R2 rally car is offered as kits available to convert the asphalt version of the car to gravel trim, or the gravel version of the car to asphalt trim. It is priced from €37.500net (c£30,500), which includes a fully-built and tested engine. You can also buy a fully built car for €57.500net (c£46,700).