The R5 category consists of group A vehicles derived from a production model, of which at least 25,000 must have been produced. Launched for 2013 by the FIA, among its objectives is a noticeable reduction in costs, including operating expenditure. Therefore, the technical regulations will adopt the major assets of the S2000 category: four-wheel drive, five-speed sequential gearbox, no central differential and long travel suspension. This is also the case externally with widened tracks, a spoiler, the increase in the wheel arches to fit 18″ wheels without forgetting the minimum weight set at 1200kg for the gravel (loose-surface) and asphalt (tarmac) version, as for the WRC.
Based on an optimisation of costs”, explains Bertrand Vallat, “the regulations impose, among other things, a maximum price for certain parts and technical limitations such as a minimum weight of components of the chassis and engine. In addition, a certain number of components of the vehicle must be similar. The hub carrier is a perfect example. All four must be identical. This makes operation considerably easier and limits costs and stocking.” Another major difference: the engine, the 2.0-litre naturally aspirated unit is replaced by the 1.6-litre turbo. The Peugeot 208 R5 will adopt the EP6 CDT as standard. “We are aiming for performance which is slightly higher than that of the S2000″, emphasises Bertrand Vallat.
“We start with the 1.6-litre THP engine that is already a competition winner. We know that it is both reliable and powerful, and can achieve 280bhp. We have serious foundations with this engine as it is the same as that of the RCZ Racing Cup which currently develops 260 horsepower in its endurance version. We are also aiming for a very high level of durability and reliability in competition with a potential 5000 kilometres (according to the components and conditions), which will also reduce the operating costs.” Finally, the FIA has also set the maximum price for the ‘R5s’ at €180,000 excluding taxes.
The Peugeot 208 R5 benefits from the product developments of the 208 production car, particularly in regards to the weight. The shell of the 208 has benefited from a weight reduction of approximately 40 kilos compared with its predecessor the 207. Its dimensions are an advantage for the Type R5 with its long wheelbase which provides excellent chassis stability. Also, being more compact, the 208 will be more agile and efficient as a result, key factors that are sought after in a competition car. All of these dynamic qualities of the 208 combine to give the R5 excellent road holding.”