The Frenchman will tackle the world’s highest hill climb – which culminates at an altitude of 4,301 metres – at the wheel of the 208 T16 Pikes Peak which was specially engineered and built by Peugeot Sport. The event marks the French team’s return to the classic American event after its memorable victories there in 1988 and 1989.
It was designed to meet the specific needs of the famous American event and be competitive in the Unlimited class, with the experience learned from the 405 T16 which claimed victories in ’88 and ’89, in the hands of Ari Vatanen and Robby Unser respectively.
“Its proportions are very different to those of the production 208,” observes Michael Trouvé who is in charge of silhouette design at Peugeot’s Styling Centre. “This difference gives it an almost beast-like appearance. 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 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.”
The car’s aerodynamics naturally haven’t been sacrificed in the name of style. Based just a few kilometres from Peugeot Sport, the team of stylists was able follow the different build phases: “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 it its beast-like attitude. And I am amazed by the beauty of the parts concealed by the carbon bodywork!”
Now, time for some eye candy: