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Peugeot's returning to America, so let's watch Climb Dance

Huge profits send Peugeot back to the US, scene of the 405 T16's Pikes Peak glory

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Peugeot is returning to North America. It’s been announced on the back of a record year for PSA – the company that comprises Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and Vauxhall – as we’re promised a staggering 116 new models between them by 2021.

That’s the same year Peugeots will return to the USA after a 30-year absence, in an effort to boost PSA’s success away from Europe. So while our American chums have missed out on some absolute classics – the beautiful 406 Coupe, the ballistic 306 Rallye, the brand’s more recent hot hatch renaissance courtesy of Peugeot Sport – it appears exciting new models like the 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered might make it across the Atlantic.

A not at all tenuous* excuse to revisit some previous Peugeot success in the States, namely the 405 T16’s storming run to the Pikes Peak hillclimb record in 1988 with Ari Vatanen at the wheel. Sure, Peugeot returned much more recently and claimed honours with a 208 T16, but we’re highlighting the 405 because a) the base car was actually sold in the US and b) the video above.

Climb Dance is possibly the most mesmeric five minutes of car footage ever, and originates from a time when GoPros weren’t ten-a-penny. Strapping lenses to each and every body panel of a racecar couldn’t be done with abandon. It’s an astounding piece of film from a time when car films weren’t the lucrative, sponsor-laden industry they are now, and YouTube simply wasn’t a thing.

Prepare to wince, grit your teeth and clench in places you weren’t expecting to clench today as Ari gets oh so close to deathly drops while occasionally removing one hand from the wheel to shield his eyes from the sun. The madman. Then chuckle in confusion as the chequered flag falls to plinky-plonky music completely at odds with the stomach-churning action immediately preceding it.

*Okay, maybe slightly tenuous

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