Peugeot Returns To Pikes Peak With 208 T16 And Sebastien Loeb
In 1988, former Finnish World Rally Champion (WRC), Ari Vatanen won the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in a record-breaking time with his turbocharged Peugeot 405 T16. This famous feat was documented in an equally famous short film by Jean Louis Mourey called ‘Climb Dance’. Peugeot is now making a return to Pikes Peak after a 14-year absence with the stunning 208 T16. The radically designed car will be piloted by the most successful driver in WRC history and a record 9-time champion, Sebastien Loeb.
If Loeb was Batman, the 208 T16 would do a fair job of playing the batmobile. Save for the head and taillights, and the basic outline of the car, nothing is resemblant of the production Peugeot 208. Sporting extreme proportions, the body has been designed for maximum aerodynamic performance. The carbon body sports a massive rear wing borrowed from the Le Mans-winning Peugeot 908, and a gigantic splitter at the front evident of the focus on aerodynamics. The V6 turbo petrol engine has been tuned to produce more than 800 bhp to compensate for the loss in output as the air gets thin at high altitudes, and the Peugeot is fitted with 2 self-locking differentials so as to ensure that the right wheels get the power at the right time. Peugeot said performance specifications and final livery will be revealed soon. Whether it will retain the black exterior apparently is undecided.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb aka The Race to the Clouds, is an annual automobile and motorcycle hillclimb to the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, USA. The 19.99 km long climb begins at a height of 1,440 m and ends at 4,300 m offering a different kind of challenge to racers and teams than usual track racing. It is now the second oldest motorsport event in the USA, with the first edition held back in 1916.