First pics: Loeb’s Citroen WTCC car

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Abandon all hope, ye who enter the 2014 World Touring Car Championship! Citroen has revealed the first pics of its entrant, driven by none other than Sébastien Loeb.

Might as well write off next season then, right? After all, this is the man who counts nine world rally championships to his name – making him the most successful rallyist in the world – as well as most recently ripping ten shades of brown out of the Pikes Peak record.

Clearly now breaking records just for fun, it was recently announced he would turn his incredible ability of Being Really Fast to touring cars, and thus, here is his chariot. It’s called the Citroen C-Elysée WTCC, and is – fact alert – Citroen’s first ever purpose built circuit racing car. It’s based on the road-going version of the Elysée that was only unveiled at the Paris Motor Show last September, specifically aimed at China, Russia and Latin America. The marketing men must be rubbing their hands with glee…

Underneath the steel/composite fibre reinforced body sits Citroen Racing’s 1.6-litre turbocharged direct injection engine from the DS3 WRC, here producing 380bhp and 295lb ft of torque. Drive is sent to the front wheels alone, via a six-speed sequential gearbox featuring a carbon-fibre twin disc, while there’s also a mechanical self-locking diff snuggled in there too.

The brakes are huge; underneath the 18in wheels are four-piston calipers bolted over 380mm ventilated discs front and rear, the bias adjustable via the cockpit, while there’s a MacPherson suspension setup on both ends of the car, with adjustable shocks. All in, the thing weighs around 1,100kg – complete with Seb on board – and although no performance figures have been announced, expect them to be swift.

You’ll be able to see it for real at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show between 12-22 September, so for now, all you’ve got is these pics. And the words coming from Citroen Racing’s tech director are ominous: “We constantly had to ask ourselves questions about the relevance of our choices, but that’s what makes this a particularly exciting challenge.

“We were able to install the various components fairly easily.”

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