Peugeot will race up Pikes Peak later this summer with a modified 208 rally car, and that the finished vehicle – revealed last week - looked pretty crazy. But now, thanks to a few more specifications, we know just how crazy this new Pikes Peak Pug truly is.
Early press releases indicated rally veteran Carlos Sainz would be storming to the clouds in a vehicle derived from a typical 208 T16 rally car, but the finished product bears only a passing resemblance to what’s regularly rallied overseas. While other 208 T16 cars share the majority of their body structure with their stock, road-going counterparts, the 208 Pikes Peak – which will compete in the damn the torpedoes Unlimited class – does not. The low-slung, wide-flared monster uses a tube frame chassis, carbon fiber bodywork, weighs a scant 1900 pounds, and – like the legendary Peugeot 405 Turbo 16 that stormed up Pikes Peak in 1988 and 1989 – places its engine in the middle of the car.
That engine is a far cry from the 208 T16′s 280-hp, turbocharged 1.8-liter I-4, for that matter. The Pikes Peak 208 makes use of a twin-turbocharged 3.2-liter, 24-valve V-6. According to Peugeot, that engine cranks out an insane 875 hp, an equally crazy 650 lb-ft of torque, and revs to 7800 rpm. For you history geeks out there, that’s nearly 275 hp more than the already crazy 405 Turbo 16 we fell in love with decades ago.
That power is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox mounted longitudinally behind the engine. The combination of immense power, little weight, and sticky Michelin tires means this 208 should fly up Pikes Peak. Early test numbers indicate the Pikes Peak 208 should rocket from 0-62 mph in 1.8 seconds, 125 mph in 4.8 seconds, and 150 mph in seven seconds. There’s no top speed indicated – no matter, as Sainz will likely have his hands full keeping that power on terra firma on his way to the top.
“Your imagination is the only limit when you set out to design a car for Pikes Peak,” said Jean-Christophe Pallier, the Peugeot Sport engineer in charge of the 208 Pikes Peak project, said in a prepared release. “Designing this car was a tremendously rewarding experience.”
Is Jean-Christophe hamming it up for Peugeot’s press corps? Perhaps – but when his 208 Pikes Peak car is putting out these kinds of numbers, we have to suspect he’s quite genuine. We can’t wait to see how the 208 Pikes Peak fares in the real world on June 30.