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Official: Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak
Few who enter the famed Pikes Peak hill climb wear their history quite like Peugeot. Winner in 1988 and 1989, its 405 was immortalised in the classic Climb Dance short film with Ari Vatanen.
This year, Peugeot returns to the mountain… and sweet mother of all that’s holy, it’s come up with something that requires serious medication and a padded cell. It has revealed the full technical spec on its 208 T16 Pikes Peak, and in short, it is a monster.
Before we get into the facts, here’s a little bit of insight into how Peugeot’s finest motorsport minds were thinking before they built it. “The Pikes Peak Hill Climb is the only race in the world that permits the fantasy of freeing the beast that lurks at the back of every engineer’s mind…”
So as you consider that - and ignore the obvious euphemism, please - chew on this: it’s a 208 in name only. Underneath the tubular steel chassis and carbon bodywork - including that simply wonderful and stupendously huge rear wing pinched from the 908 HDI FAP Le Mans racer - sits, essentially, an endurance racing prototype.
There’s a 3.2-litre mid-rear mounted V6 bi-turbo engine with 875bhp, a six-speed sequential gearbox with steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifts, four-wheel-drive, pressurised dampers, double wishbones and pushrod/rocker arm actuation at all corners, torsion bars, anti-roll bars all round, and vented carbon brake discs front and rear - measuring in at 380mm (f) and 355mm (r) - hiding behind 18in magnesium alloy wheels “derived from F1 technology”.
In fact, Peugeot is very proud of the fact this little Franken-208 packs more power than a modern Formula One car, tipping the scales at a frankly ludicrous 875kg. So yes, you’re right: it’s ruddy fast. 0-62mph takes just 1.8 seconds, 0-125mph takes 4.8 seconds and it’ll hit its 150mph top speed in just seven seconds flat.
It’ll be driven by none other than Mr WRC himself, Sebastien Loeb, the most successful rallyist in all human (and other) history. Frankly, his considerable fantastic-ness will come in handy, considering, as Peugeot rightly explains, “it will be motorsport in the extreme, especially since the guard rails that are a hallmark of traditional circuits make way for steep drops…”
Reckon Seb can conquer the mountain?