Peugeot has finally revealed technical specs of its 208 T16 Pikes Peak car, which will be driven by rally legend Sébastien Loeb in the “Race to the Clouds” climb on June 30. Since Peugeot Sport’s objective is to win the race, the car it will throw in the competition is one hardcore beast, to say the least.
Its mid-mounted engine is a bi-turbo V6 derived from the unit in the Peugeot 908 endurance car and develops 875 horsepower – more than a Formula 1 car can brag about. To put it into context, the 208 T16 Pikes Peak tips the scales at 875 kilograms (1,929 pounds), which means the car has an outstanding power-to-weight ratio of 1 horsepower per kilogram!
Peugeot says the weight distribution of the tubular-framed machine has been meticulously fine-tuned for optimum handling. Other parts shared with the 908 endurance racing car are the running gear, brakes and aerodynamic features like the air-intake and the spectacular two-meter wide rear wing, originally used for the first-generation 908 HDi FAP.
Peugeot says the 208 T16 Pikes Peak sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 1.8 seconds, from 0 to 200 km/h (124 mph) in 4.8 seconds and from 0 to its maximum speed of 240 km/h (149 mph) in 7 seconds! These stunning numbers are due not only to the 875 horsepower and aerodynamics, but also to the car’s all-wheel drive system. For Sébastien Loeb, this will be the most powerful race car he has ever driven –that alone says a lot about the 208 T16 Pikes Peak.
The car will be entered in the “Unlimited” class, with cars in this category having the biggest chances at overall victory. Pikes Peak cars need as much power as they can get, since the Colorado hill climb presents a unique technical challenge – as they go higher, the air gets more rarefied and the engines lose power.
“In the case of a normally-aspirated engine, you basically lose one percent of the available power every 100 metres you climb,” explained Peugeot Sport Director Bruno Famin. Taking into account that the race starts at an altitude of 2,865 meters and finishes at 4,301 meters, this is a crucial factor for engineers. By the time they reach the start line, certain engines automatically shed some 30 percent of their potential.
By Dan Mihalascu