TG drives Peugeot 208 T16
Before it heads to a museum, our tame rallyist thrashes Loeb’s Pikes Peak racer
Posted: 14 Feb 2014
Using the bespoke tubular spaceframe chassis as a set of monkey bars, Kris hoists himself into the off-centre seating position. He doesn't look nervous, more intrigued. He pulls the carbon prong for first gear, and it engages with the sound of a nail gun. A few blips of the throttle, and he heads down the slick pit lane, almost gingerly.
At this point, most of us would crawl around the first lap, petrified that we'd get the priceless, one-off, now-legendary car a little bit written off. Not Kris. He checks the vitals work - steering, pedals, gears - and guns it to the first complex. Coming into view, he pans across the horizon giving a visual demonstration of aerodynamics: that massive venturi underneath the car sucks water from the tarmac and throws it out behind the car in a fountain-sized rooster tail. Carving round one of the flat circuit's long, long corners, Kris eyes the exit, prods his right foot and 875bhp is fed to all four wheels so efficiently that the car appears at the next corner as if by video glitch.
"Ah... ei... ow... h..." Letters stutter out of Kris's mouth when he returns to the pits. "It's f*****g fast!" He shakes his head in disbelief. "Mind-blowing, it's absolutely mind-blowing. So capable. The power delivery is completely smooth - the smoothest thing I've ever driven. You're fired back into your seat, so your eyes have to poke out to try to read the road ahead. It's not familiar at all."