The new Peugeot 2008 DKR is longer, wider and more powerful than its predecessor with further improvements to the suspension and aerodynamics.
In total the car has been lengthened by 200mm and widened by 200mm, the wheelbase has been stretched by the same amount to give the car more stability around the harsh environments of the Dakar Rally. The 2008 DKR has also been lowered but the rear and front overhangs have been shortened ensuring the car will easily sail over any rocks or sand dunes the rally throws at it.
Peugeot have heavily redefined the air intakes on the bonnet and roof, improving front and rear downforce and giving the car more balanced aerodynamics. The heavy-duty suspension has also been redesigned to deal with the changing terrains more effectively.
The interior will obviously be far from any conventional car we have seen, however Peugeot have not released any details about the inside of the cabin. In each car entering the Dakar Rally there is one driver and one co-driver who are both expected to carry out minor repairs as they race through the ruthless terrains, these spare parts and tools are kept inside the car.
Peugeot knows how to make diesel engines go fast, having won the 2009 Le Mans in the diesel LMP1 car. In regards to the 2008 DKR, underneath the rugged exterior lies a roaring 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 diesel engine. Tuned to a hefty 350bhp with 800Nm of torque all outputted to the rear wheels, it will certainly climb any sand dune in sight and conquer them.
Stéphane Peterhansel, who gave the Peugeot 2008 DKR its first-ever overall win, in China, he said:
“You can really feel the difference now that the car is longer and wider, with a lower centre of gravity, because it’s a lot more stable so cornering speeds are faster. You can feel the difference in the engine as well: not only is it more powerful but also you can use all the power even at low revs. We’ve almost got a ‘problem’ now of how to manage all that power most effectively, but this is a very nice problem to have. We’re still not at the maximum of our capabilities, but testing has been very productive so far.”
In January 2016 the new Peugeot 2008 DKR will be driven by Carlos Sainz who has had plenty of experience behind the wheel of the updated model. The Spaniard added:
“It’s been good testing and the car has been running really well. The potential of the car is much, much bigger than it was at this time last year and reliability has been solid too. We’ve changed quite a lot in the car in many key areas, so really we can call this one a completely new car compared to last year. I feel optimistic.”
Image Credits: Peugeot Sport / peugeot-sport.com