• Re-Generation for motor sport
  • Builds on the virtues that brought success
  • Enhances the strengths of the new 208

Peugeot 208 R2

To follow and build on the successful achievements with the emblematic 205, 206, 207, Peugeot has applied its expertise, utilising the ‘spirit of re-generation’ that combines all of their best features to produce the Peugeot 208.

Peugeot Sport reveals the first of three 208-evolved competition cars, as the productioncar begins to go on sale across Europe.

The first competition version revealed is the 208 ‘R2’ which will be campaigned as a ‘zero’car on this month’s Tour de Corse in the hands of Stéphane Sarrazin and BenjaminVeillas.

Peugeot 208 R2 Rally car rear

The Competition versions of the 208

Development of the competition versions of the Peugeot 208 has been in operation since the car was announced in 2011, and the first version to be released is the R2 which will provide a glimpse of its potential at next week’s Tour de Corse (May 10-12) in France. Two other motor sport derivatives of the 208 will see the light of day before the end of 2012, beginning with the circuit version which features a specification very similar to that of the R2. The circuit version will be followed by the eagerly-awaited 208 which complies with the FIA’s R5 regulations and which will go on to take over from the successful 207 Super 2000 rally car at national and international level. It is due to be unveiled in September.

Peugeot 208 R2 Rally car Engine

Creation of an icon

“With the 208, Peugeot has given itself the means to create a new motoring icon,” noted Peugeot’s Range Director Laurent Blanchet at the model’s launch. “The 208 carries over the successful spirit of the 205 and the 206, plus the functionality of the 207 in a thoroughly modern package,” added Xavier Peugeot, the Brand’s Product Director. Through the livery of the R2, Peugeot’s stylists have sought to mark the launch of the 208’s competition line-up by highlighting the model’s emotional appeal and resolutely modern lines.

The 208 R2 will appear in this livery when it serves as ‘zero’ car for next week’s Tour de Corse (May 10-12), the fourth round of the 2012 Intercontinental Rallye Challenge. Regular Peugeot Sport driver Stéphane Sarrazin and co-driver Benjamin Veillas will drive the hot hatch ahead of the field at the French event before staying on in Corsica for a week of testing after the rally.

208 R2: poised to become a new benchmark in a highly competitive market

The R2 is an indispensable part of the model line-up it is destined to spearhead. Affordable and competitive, it stands out as the ideal choice for those who want to get their first taste of rallying or simply enjoy their passion. The 208 R2 ran for the first time at the end of 2011 and is destined to replace the existing 207 RC Rallye not only as star of the Brand’s ‘Volant’ single make series but also as a challenger for class success at national and international level. Ford, Renault and Citroën all have R2 cars, but Peugeot Sport has set itself the target of becoming the class’s new benchmark in terms of both performance and low competing costs. Careful attention was also paid to reliability, notably with regard to its transmission, electrics and electronics.

Peugeot 208 R2 Rally car 2012

Another aim was to make life easier for owners by minimising the number of parts required to convert the car from gravel- to asphalt-spec, and vice-versa. This was made possible by using as many shared parts and assemblies as possible for the two versions and by benefiting from the PSA group’s customer competition catalogue.

‘Regenerated’ styling

Through its compact forms, short overhangs and flowing transition between the bonnet and windscreen pillars, the 208 is a fresh interpretation of the Brand’s styling cues, both in terms of their underlying principles and in the details.

Peugeot 208 R2 Rally car

The new signature front end is particularly charismatic, while its feline looks are more modern, status-enhancing and refined. It comes across as assertive yet lively, warm yet racy, hi-tech yet friendly, and natural yet sophisticated.

Technical ‘regeneration’, described by 208 R2’s project leader, Yann Goraguer:

Lightweight:“The 208’s bodyshell is approximately 40kg lighter than that of the 207. In addition, the 208’s overall volumes are one of the R2’s chief strengths, while its long wheelbase ensures excellent stability. Weight-saving work has enabled us to bring down the centre of gravity further, optimise where the weight is located and reduce the intrinsically low inertia of this car with its short overhangs. These features combine to provide the 208 R2 with outstanding road holding.”

Peugeot 208 R2 Rally car rear

Modern structure: “The 208 R2’s strengthened shell incorporates a multi-point, welded roll cage which marks a real step forward in terms of safety compared to rival roll cages thanks to a new manufacturing process.”

Modern engine: To comply with the regulations, Peugeot Sport has developed for the 208 R2 a brand new, naturally-aspirated, 1600cc engine based on the 1.6 VTi available for certain versions of the 208 road car.

“For the competition version of this engine, we started from a clean sheet of paper and achieved the 185hp specified in the brief. At the same time, we succeeded in maintaining the low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions that are features of the original engine. This extremely modern powerplant comes with variable valve timing (VVT) for the intake and exhaust. The Group R regulations specify that the valves must be of the same size as those of the standard engine.

Like its air intake dimensions, the 1.6 VTi’s valves are smaller than those of the former 1.6 unit. The main factors which influence performance in the case of a normally-aspirated engine are its valves and intake, so we worked closely with Sodemo to make our new engine driver-friendly by focusing on flexibility rather than on peak power which often goes unused in rallying. We achieved this thanks to the use of VVT. The 208 R2 kits will be sold with the engine built, run-in and checked on the dyno.”

Innovative gearbox: “The gearbox, too, is new. The 208 R2 is equipped with a five-speed, manual, sequential gearbox with the lever mounted on the steering column. The gearshift system is identical to that of the 207 S2000 and represents a significant evolution for a car of this class in which the original gearshift is more conventionally mounted on the floor. The lever is much shorter and also positioned higher, while the shift is more direct and precise because it is in line with the gearbox. The system is much more rigid since it is shorter and lighter. 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.”

Reduced fuel consumption: The lower weight, carefully designed aerodynamics and naturally-aspirated engine have resulted in a significant fuel consumption saving compared to the 207 RC Rallye. This makes an appreciable contribution to keeping the costs of competing to a minimum.

Suspension performance: “We have carried over the proven three-way adjustable dampers, plus a new, bespoke adjustable hydraulic bump stop which has been developed specially in association with our supplier Öhlins. The R2 also features a specific wishbone arrangement which increases suspension travel. This, in turn, improves traction and is positive for the car’s performance.”

Hydraulic steering: “The 208 R2’s steering is specific, too. We have switched from the standard car’s electric power steering to a hydraulic system, combined with a higher-ratio hydraulic rack for greater precision and enhanced comfort in response to demand from the drivers. The use of a hydraulic system also permits more accurate feedback of information, notably on loose surfaces.”

Single calliper brakes: “The diameter of the brake discs is dictated by the regulations. As wear parts, they need to be effective and reliable, but also relatively economical. To simplify the ordering and management of parts and to facilitate the conversion from gravel- to asphalt-spec (and vice-versa), we have opted for a single Alcon calliper plus standard, re-machined discs. Thanks to the floating calliper arrangement, the conversion from gravel- to asphalt-spec only requires the calliper mount to be changed.”

Clutch:the 184mm-diameter single clutch plate arrangement is dictated by the regulations. Peugeot Sport specifies an Alcon plate for the R2.

Wheels:the wheels are also covered by strict regulations regarding their width, diameter and weight.

Tyres:All the 208 R2 development work was done on tyres provided by Michelin, Peugeot’s Sport partner.

Production and motor sport: close collaboration to minimise competing costs

The 208 represents a new generation of car, while Peugeot Sport has collaborated with PSA group experts to make the necessary modifications for motor sport use in compliance with the regulations. “Throughout the process, we worked closely with the group’s different technical departments,” says Alexis Avril, Customer Competition Manager. “At the beginning of a project like this, in-house skills and expertise allow you to make swifter progress when developing certain advanced solutions. The 208 R2’s transmission, for example, is made entirely by PSA to a brief drawn up especially for competition purposes. We also benefited from the savoir-faire and experience of the Brand’s series production experts in fields like materials, surface treatment and processes. The 208 features a new, modern powertrain, so we spent a great deal of time with the firm’s specialists during the 208 R2’s different development phases. Last but not least, as a function of the regulations and in order to minimise costs, we called frequently on our colleagues to source the most suitable parts from the catalogue of the series production version.”


The gravel and asphalt versions of the 208 R2 will both be available in kit form for a price of €37.500net (c£30,500). This price includes a fully-built engine. It will also be possible to acquire the 208 R2 in fully built form (gravel or asphalt version) for €57.500net (c£46,700).

Two kits will be available to convert the asphalt version of the car to gravel trim, or the gravel version of the car to asphalt trim.

Delivery: November 2012, via the Peugeot Sport Racing Shop.

Development calendar

July Homologation
August 17-18 Ulster Rally (asphalt), Great Britain
October-November Gravel and asphalt rallies (in Italy, France and Spain)
November Delivery
November 23-25 Rallye du Var (asphalt), France

Technical data

Type: EP6C (special pistons, con-rods, camshafts).
Cubic capacity: 1598cc
Bore x stroke: 77mm x 85.8mm
Maximum power: 185hp at 7.800rpm
Maximum torque: 19m.daN at 6.300rpm
Specific power: 116hp/litre
Fuel tank: 60 litres
Fuel injection: indirect (Magneti-Marelli), motorised single throttle valve, chain-driven double overhead camshafts with VVT intake and exhaust timing


Gearbox: five-speed sequential manual gearbox with three homologated final drive ratios
Differential: pre-loaded limited slip differential
Clutch: hydraulically operated cerametallic single clutch plate (diameter: 184mm)


Front brakes: floating-callipers and ventilated discs
– asphalt: 310mm x 30mm (diameter thickness)
– gravel: 285mm x 26mm (diameter thickness)
radial-mount four-piston callipers
Rear brakes: solid discs: 290mm x 8mm (diameter thickness)
radial-mount two-piston callipers
Handbrake: hydraulic
Power steering: hydraulic


Front: MacPherson type with specific uniball-jointed wishbones specific interchangeable front anti-roll bar (3 stiffnesses choices) with plain bearings specific cast aluminium struts (camber adjustment at pivot).
Rear: strengthened H-beam modified to accommodate an interchangeable anti-roll bar (choice of 3 stiffnesses)
Front/rear dampers: specific three-way Öhlins dampers with adjustable hydraulic bump stops


Structure: body shell reinforced by welded, multipoint FIA-approved roll cage specific steel
underbody shielding Weight: minimum weight (in accordance with FIA regulations): 1.030kg (unladen), and
1.180kg (with crew) 64% / 36%
Front/rear distribution:


Length/width: 3.962mm / 1.739mm
Wheelbase: 2.538mm
Front/rear track: 1.475mm / 1.470mm
Wheels/tyres: asphalt – wheels: 6.5 x 16 / Michelin tyres (17/60-16) gravel – wheels: 6 x 15 / Michelin tyres (16/64-15)

Not necessarily for publication, but for background and awareness;

Recent stories from the Peugeot UK PR Team include;

  • Diesel-electric hybrids launch soon with the 508 Saloon HYbrid4 & 508 RXH
  • New 208 concepts revealed at Geneva
  • Sales growth in emerging markets helps international development for Peugeot

News, products & dates coming from Peugeot soon in 2012:

  • New 508 RXH on sale in May
  • The new 208 – lighter, smaller, bigger on the inside (than 207) with new 3-cyl engines
  • Thursday, 27th September – Press Day at the Paris Motor Show

Tim Zimmerman, Managing Director at Peugeot UK, said: “The Peugeot brand is reinvigorated – with a new logo, a its new brand signature – ‘Motion & Emotion’ and a portfolio of attractive new products – all capturing the identifiable strengths of the brand – being stylish, of high-quality, durable, affordable and efficient.

“Of course our environmental record is an example to others, and our products continue to be amongst the lowest of low CO2 vehicles.  This lead position continues with the recent introduction of the world’s first diesel hybrid – the Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 – and with the 508 that also benefits from the HYbrid4 technology.”

Peugeot UK

Peugeot is part of the PSA Group – Europe’s 2ndlargest automotive producer – and is one of the nine most popular automotive brands in the world, with sales of over 2m vehicles. Present in 160 countries with over 10,000 dealer-points.  In 2010 the Peugeot brand celebrated its 200th anniversary.  The Peugeot signature is ‘Motion & Emotion’.

The UK is currently Peugeot’s 4th largest sales market outlet.

Its UK subsidiary has its headquarters in Coventry and it has c240 franchised dealerships.

The product portfolio includes electric (iOn), petrol and diesel cars (107 Compact, 207 its best-selling model (and in June replaced by new 208), the medium-sized 308, 3008 Crossover, 5008 Compact MPV, large 508 and the RCZ Sports Coupé).  There are Diesel-electric hybrid vehicles with the 3008 HYbrid4, 508 Saloon HYbrid4 and 508 RXH. Also in the portfolio is MPV people carriers (‘Tepee’ range) and vans (Bipper, Partner, Expert & Boxer). Peugeot also has a ‘Mu by Peugeot’ mobility service – for the hire of all of its products, including cycles, scooters, cars, vans and accessories.