Peugeot’s new competitor in international rallying is the 208 R5, which made its world premiere at the ongoing Paris Auto Show. Due to FIA’s new rules that were introduced to reduce costs and will come in effect next year, the 208 R5 is quite different to the car it replaces.
The R5 class consists of Group A cars that are based on a production model of which at least 25,000 units must have been built.
Under the new R5 regulations, racing cars retain many parts of the S2000 class such as the all-wheel-drive system with no center differential, a five speed sequential gearbox, widened tracks, aerodynamic aids and a minimum weight of 1,200 kg (2,645 pounds).
The main change is that forced-induction 1.6-liter units have replaced the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engines. The 208 R5 will utilize the brand’s 1.6-liter THP unit, which has already been tested in competition in the RCZ Racing Cup.
FIA regulations also stipulate that the maximum price for R5 class racers must not exceed €180,000 (US$231,400).
The 208 R5, which will be assembled at Peugeot Sport facilities in Velizy, will begin its testing program at the end of the year and will become available to customers during the second half of 2013.
Peugeot will build 54 examples, 29 of which will be heading to the United Kingdom. The French carmaker says it chose this number to represent each year since the UK launch of the original 205 GTi in 1984.
Each of the 208 GTi Limited Edition models will be numbered from 01 to 29, and will come with exclusive satin pearlescent white paint, 17-inch ‘Carbon’ Onyx Black Alloys, a Union Jack flag print on the lower front grille and extra standard features such as Satellite Navigation.
The special edition model is available for order now with an on-the-road price of £20,495.
Peugeot said production is scheduled for April 2013, with the 208 GTi Limited Edition to be handed over to customers about a month ahead of the regular 208 GTi’s launch in late May.
At next week’s 2012 Paris Motor Show, the French company will present a new prototype three-wheeler named the Onyx Concept Scooter, and yes, as you may have guessed already, it was inspired by the 680HP diesel-electricOnyx Hybrid Supercar Concept.
The matte black and copper color scheme and sharp lines of the three-wheeler show the family resemblance to the Onyx Supercar.
The Onyx Scooter offers two different configurations: Sport Mode and Urban Mode.
In Sport Mode, the riding position is similar to that of a superbike with the rider’s feet pointing towards the rear. With the center ClipBox removed, the Onyx goes into Urban Mode with the rider adopting a scooter-like position with feet forward and head up.
The Onyx Scooter Concept utilizes a plug-in hybrid powertrain combining a 400cc (0.4-liters) internal combustion engine with an electric motor to drive the extra-large 200/50 R17 rear tire.
The system delivers an output of 45kW or 60Hp and 58Nm (43 lb-ft) of peak torque allowing for a maximum speed of 150km/h (93mph). It consumes 2.0 lt/100 km (117.6mpg US or 141mpg UK), and has a range of 30km (18.6miles) at 50km/h (31mph) in ZEV mode, and up to 500km (310 miles) in combined mode.
The R5 category consists of Group A vehicles derived from a series production model, with at least 25,000 sales. It was created by FIA to reduce costs for teams adopting the major assets of the S2000 category including four-wheel drive, five-speed sequential gearbox, no central differential and long travel suspension. FIA has also set the maximum price for the ‘R5s’ at €180,000 (US$238,700) excluding taxes.
The 208 Type R5 is powered by Peugeot’s 1.6-liter turbocharged engine rated at 280hp at 6,000rpm and 400Nm (295 lb-ft) at 2,500rpm with a five-speed sequential transmission driving all-four wheels.
The RCZ R (both in concept and production guise) gains the most powerful version of the PSA Peugeot-Citroen and BMW Group co-developed 1.6-liter twin-scroll turbo engine to date, rated at 260-horsepower, which also makes it the most potent production model in Peugeot’s history.
And it’s not only powerful but also relatively green as Peugeot claims the turbo engine will deliver CO2 emissions of just 155g/km.
While power will continue to be delivered to the front wheels, Peugeot’s engineers have made changes to the chassis and added a Torsen limited slip differential on the front axle to keep everything in order.
The 2008 Concept is a precursor of an upcoming production crossover in the B-segment (sub-compact category… cof, cof, Nissan Juke).
The 2008 is believed to ride on a modified version of the new 208 supermini’s platform sharing a similar engine lineup, with the possible addition of the PSA Peugeot-Citroen’s first petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain that will use an internal combustion engine to drive the front wheels and an electric motor to turn the rear wheels.
The facelift comes a little over two years since the two-door model went on sale in Europe and it brings some welcome styling changes such as the replacement of the large front grille with a much more petite unit along with a new front bumper housing LED daytime running lights and redesigned headlamps.
The new 208 GTi will live up to its promise is something we’ll just have to wait to see, but the initial specifications are promising, starting with the fact that, at 1,160kg (2,538 lbs), Peugeot’s latest pocket rocket is a whopping 165kg (364 pounds) lighter than the 207 RC (called GTi in some markets including the UK).
It’s also more powerful than the 175hp 207 RC / GTi as it is equipped with the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbocharged petrol found in the flagship version of the RCZ Coupe, which generates an output of 197hp (200PS) and peak torque of 275Nm (203 lb-ft).
A six speed manual gearbox drives the front wheels with the French carmaker quoting 0-100 km/h (62mph) acceleration in less than 7 seconds, 0-1,000m (0.62 miles) in 27 seconds and 80-120km/h (50-75mph) in fifth-gear in less than 7 seconds. Peugeot has not yet released the car’s top speed or fuel economy numbers, though it did reveal that it emits 145g/km of C02.
Peugeot says it has uprated and re-tuned the steering system and the suspension that gains sport springs and shock absorbers, new anti-roll bars, plus enhanced front subframe and rear crossmember. The car’s tracks are 10mm wider at the front and 20mm wider at the rear.
The 208 GTi now rides on 17-inch wheels wrapped around in 205/45 rubber, which house larger 302mm ventilated discs at the front and 249mm at the rear.
Exterior upgrades over the regular 208 three-door hatchback include a rather subtle styling package comprising a bespoke finish for the front grille, chromed mirror caps, side sills, a honeycomb mesh lower front grille, a black rear diffuser with trapezoid chromed double tailpipes, LED headlamps and a chromed trim strip with the GTi logo on the C-Pillar.
To celebrate the launch of the car, Peugeot will offer a fully-specified Limited Edition version adorned in an exclusive Satin Pearlescent White paint and 17-inch wheels fitted with red aluminum caps, while the lower bar of the front grille will bear the colors of the French flag. Inside, the special edition will come equipped with Satellite Navigation, a HiFi Pack, and a numbered plaque.
The new 208 GTi will go on sale in Europe in the spring of 2013.