After announcing their plans last month, Peugeot has revealed the all-new 208 T16 Pikes Peak in a video featuring nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb.
2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will mark Peugeot’s return to the world’s highest hill climb since its back-to-back triumphs in the 405 T16 in 1988 and 1989 – by Ari Vatanen and Robby Unser in the Open Rally division (now the Unlimited division).
The Unlimited Division is an ‘anything goes’ class, featuring purpose-built vehicles with no restrictions on horsepower and a silhouette design (just like the 405 T16 was).
In recent years some cars have fielded as much as 1,000hp, but the technical details are at the discretion of the entrants so there are no minimum or maximum stipulations in this regard.
“Its proportions are very different to those of the production 208″ observes Michael Trouvé of Peugeot’s Styling Centre. “…Peugeot Sport provided us with a number of technical constraints, such as the width, body height, location of the wheels and engine, and we worked to this brief to produce an extreme take on the 208.”
As befits its motorsport heritage, the 208 T16 Pikes Peak features some delightful touches, such as the rear wing from the Le Mans 24 Hours-winning 908. Otherwise it’s been engineered to meet the specific needs of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb.
The 208 T16 Pikes Peak is believed to be powered by a mid-mounted V6 engine producing well over 800bhp, applying its power to the tarmac via all-wheel drive. The car has been given the start number ‘208’ by the race organisers.
The design team have worked flat out ever since the project received a green light last November. The car itself was only signed off in February, so between now and the end of June the car will be tested to unleash its performance potential.
It will be Loeb’s first attempt at Colorado’s most famous hill climb, and despite his ‘novice’ status will be aiming to win the ‘Race to the Clouds’.
His entry in the 12-driver Unlimited division means that he will up against legendary driver Rhys Millen, who established an all-time speed record on the Peak last year with 9:46.164 in the Time Attack division. Millen has joined the Unlimited field this year in a new purpose-built Hyundai PM580T.
The event begins on June 27th, and the French champion will commence his ascent to the 4,301 metre summit on June 30th.