Peugeot Sport has taken the covers off its latest version of the 208 WRX, which will compete in the 2018 World Rallycross Championship.
Based on the 208 hatchback, the WRX version is not so much an all-new offering but an evolution of the 2017 car that has been in a similar guise since its debut back in 2014.
This is Peugeot’s first factory effort in WRX and takes on the Peugeot-Hansen team from previous seasons.
For improved performance over last year’s offering, the Peugeot Sport engineers have improved the vehicle’s aerodynamics by adding a new wing and rear bumper, a revised suspension set-up and a more powerful version of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine under the bonnet.
That unit now produces 552bhp – meaning the 208 WRX can launch from 0-60mph in under two seconds and reach a top speed 130mph on all surfaces. The power is sent through all four wheels via a six-speed manual, sequential transmission – which helps for faster gear changes.
Peugeot Sport has also added a new roll cage for additional structural rigidity and larger wheels.
Peugeot Sport director Bruno Famin said: “We decided to participate in world rallycross because we firmly believe in the future of this sport: the sporting format, which is short and intense, is exciting, the audience, younger than in other categories, is still growing, and furthermore we also believe in the electric future of the championship.
“So, we are preparing for this new generation of powertrain and new generation of fans right now, with the clear aim of promoting our current PEUGEOT 208 and its successor.”
The three drivers for this season will be nine-time World Rally Championship winner Sebastien Loeb, and Swedish brothers Timmy and Kevin Hansen.