Sunday August 31, 2003
Earmarked to replace the triple World Rally Championship winning 206 WRC, Peugeot will launch the 307 WRC at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show. Based on the top-of-the-range version of the 307CC fitted with an engine developing 130 kW, the 307 WRC includes an innovative 5 speed Hewland gearbox located at the rear of the engine in a transverse position.
The 206 and its sports derivative the 206 WRC were presented simultaneously in June 1998 and 3 consecutive World Rally Championship titles followed in 2000, 2001 and 2002, with the 206 WRC is leading the field again this year.
The unveiling of the 307 "World Rally Championship" version - the 307 WRC - is designed to replace the 206 WRC at the right moment. Pre-planning studies began 15 months ago, a choice finally being made in favour of a CC version of the 307, at the request of Peugeot management and the Marketing department, with the production of an even more effective version of the Coup' Cabriolet also being a top priority.
Although heavier than the 5-door model, like any coup' cabriolet the 307 CC requires a certain number of stiffeners; the 307 WRC project benefited from the new legislation which increased the minimum legal weight of the body to 320 kg. The folding parts forming the roof of the cabriolet are now fixed.
The 307 WRC gearbox configuration is in contrast to the one on the 206 WRC which is in a longitudinal position. A conical counter gear situated behind the centre differential provides the drive to the rear wheels. The three differentials - front, centre and rear - are electronically managed.
Another new feature is that the engine is no longer the XU9J4 but the more recent XU7JP4, still with an aluminium block. Power is approximately 300 bhp (221kW) at an engine speed of 5250 rpm with a torque of 580 Nm at 3500 rpm.