TG drives Peugeot 208 T16
Before it heads to a museum, our tame rallyist thrashes Loeb’s Pikes Peak racer
Posted: 14 Feb 2014
Eager for a rematch, Famin approached Gilles Vidal, Peugeot's style director, who got one of his designers to sketch a 208 - the company's contemporary product - morphed into a car that could take on such a specific race. He showed Monsieur Picat, who green-lit the operation. There was one slight hitch: they only had a few months to cook up a one-off racer from scratch.
So, in the space of four months, with just 12 people, Bruno's team designed and built a car specifically for the Pikes Peak Unlimited class,and the 208 T16 was born. An 875bhp, 875kg, super-specialist, hill-climb weapon. A supermini shape fitted with modified versions of the turbocharged 3.2-litre V6, steering components, brakes, suspension and massive two-metre-wide rear wing/diffuser from Peugeot's 908 Le Mans programme. One of the most inspired examples of inter-brand piracy ever demonstrated. But that wasn't all. In order to maximise the much-needed publicity, Peugeot struck a deal with Red Bull: the French manufacturer would supply the car, while the energy-drink company would use its PR nous to excite the world. But there was a catch. Red Bull had a designated driver. His name was Sébastien Loeb, nine-time WRC champion. Peugeot, presumably, hesitated for milliseconds.