| 15/04/2013 | 0 Comments

Nine-time WRC World Rally Championship winner Sebastien Loeb of France has entered the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, adding more international luster to the America’s second oldest motor sports event behind the Indy 500.

Peugeot_Pikes_Peak_2Peugeots entry marks its first attempt on Pikes Peak, since back-to-back triumphs in its 405 T16 model in 1988 and 1989 in the Open Rally division, which now is the Unlimited division. Ari Vatanen’s unforgettable record-breaking victory on the 1988 event in the 405 T16 is documented by the celebrated film, ‘Climb Dance’. Peugeot won the famous hill climb a second time in 1989, this time with the USA’s Robby Unser behind the wheel.

The announcement of this ambitious project three weeks ago caused something of a buzz in motorsport circles, and the time has now come for the next phase of this exciting adventure: the unveiling of the machine with which Sébastien Loeb will target victory in Colorado. Although its exterior styling resembles that of the production model, the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak was tailor engineered and designed to meet the specific needs of the famous American event. Peugeot’s bid to win has led to it joining forces with such key partners as Total, Red Bull and Michelin.

Peugeot_Pikes_Peak_3‘Unlimited’ class allows plenty of freedom on the technical front. The engineers have naturally taken on-board the salient features of this legendary competition because of its incredibly twisty, high-altitude course. That said, Peugeot can count on the considerable experience it gained of the so-called ‘Race to the Clouds’ with the 405 T16.


The car which Sébastien Loeb will drive in Colorado, has been given the start number ‘208’. It boasts a highly distinctive design. The work of Michael Trouvé and his colleague Attila Bocsi has resulted in a car with a unique stance. “The cars which represent the brand in motorsport have always tended to feature sculpted forms which combine style and aerodynamic efficiency. The 208 T16 Pikes Peak is no exception, and it incorporates all the distinctive hallmarks of the 208 which itself marks a new generation of Peugeot design,” says Michael. “I am very proud to have played a part in this adventure, especially since we didn’t have much time to work on the car’s design, because the green light was only given in November and the project wasn’t signed-off until February.

Peugeot_Pikes_Peak_1The car’s aerodynamics naturally haven’t been sacrificed in the name of style. The rear wing, which is that of the Le Mans 24 Hours-winning 908, and the splitter are two features of the car, which give carbon bodywork its beast-like attitude. “Its proportions are very different to those of the production 208,” observes Michael Trouvé. “Peugeot Sport provided us with a number of technical constraints, such as the width, body height, location of the wheels and engine, and we worked to this brief to produce an extreme take on the 208.”

The Pikes Peak Hill Climb’s unique course was finally entirely asphalted last year and comprises 156 turns over a distance of 20 kilometres that take competitors from an altitude of 2,800 metres to 4,300 metres at its highest point.

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