The torque characteristics of the 307 WRC’s engine will enable Peugeot to campaign both five- and four-speed gearboxes this year, the world rally team’s chief engineer Michel Nandan said.

The torque characteristics of the 307 WRC’s engine will enable Peugeot to campaign both five- and four-speed gearboxes this year, the world rally team’s chief engineer Michel Nandan said.


Most WRC cars are fitted with six-speed gearboxes, but Peugeot has used a five-speeder for two years in the 206, reasoning that the two-litre, turbocharged XU9 engine had a sufficient spread of power to do away with the extra ratio. And according to Peugeot, the new XU7 engine may manage with one gear less.


"We have homologated two gearboxes, a four-speed box and a five-speed unit. But it is also possible to run a five-speed gearbox and only use four ratios. Even with the lower response time of today's semi-automatic, sequential boxes, every gearshift results in a fall in engine speed, which in turn results in a loss of time,” Nandan said.


If you are in a position where you can match the gearing to the characteristics of the engine with just five or, in certain situations, four speeds, then why use more? Not only that, you also achieve a weight saving or, alternatively, you can run stronger parts for an identical weight," he added.


If the 307 does appear with four speeds, it will probably be on a tarmac rally such as the Corsican Rally. "The 307 WRC is only at the beginning of its career and has yet to be put to through the rigours of actual competition,” Nandan said.


“That doesn't mean we will be in Monte Carlo (the first round of the championship, which starts on January 25) just to make up the numbers. Peugeot has its sights set on the world title at the end of the year and our drivers will be out to give it everything they've got. We'll see how it goes..."

Original article from Car