Peugeot has released pictures of its first 208-derived rally car. Peugeot says the 208 R2 has been under development since the standard model was announced in 2011, and promises to reveal two more motorsport-bred 208s by the end of 2012.
What will the next two 208 sports cars be? A circuit racer and an R5-spec rally car for the IRC.
The Peugeot 208 R2 goes racing
The 208 R2 will race as a non-competing zero car at the 2012 IRC Tour de Corse (10-12 May 2012) in Corsica. The car is aimed at privateers looking for a competition vehicle on a budget - although such a budget would still make most people's eyes pop.
Peugeot Sport driver Stéphane Sarrazin and co-driver Benjamin Veillas will pilot the 208 at the head of the field on the island and remain behind for a week after the race for further testing.
The 208 R2's specs and tech
Under the bonnet is a 1.6-litre petrol engine producing 185bhp and 140lb ft of torque. Power goes to the front wheels through a new five-speed sequential gearbox using a shift system carried over from the popular 207 S2000 racer.
The new car is 40kg lighter than the 207 R2, and Peugeot claims lower weight, aerodynamic changes and the naturally aspirated engine give the 208 R2 significantly better fuel consumption than its predecessor.
Peugeot has also switched the power steering from the electric unit found in the standard road car to a hydraulic set-up with a faster rack. Brakes and running gear are designed to be converted easily from tarmac to gravel surface specification.
If you've decided you want one, the 208 R2 starts from £30,500 for a kit or £46,700 for a fully-built version. The first cars will be delivered in November 2012.