Peugeot Details 2008 DKR with 340-hp Diesel
5 July 2014 - Autoblog
It would be all too easy to write off Peugeot Sport these days. The French automaker's competition division, once run by FIA president Jean Todt (before he was head of Ferrari), hasn't competed in Formula One in 14 years, in the World Rally Championship in nearly a decade, and shut down its Le Mans Prototype program – the only one to really challenge Audi in the modern era – two years ago.
Peugeot is still racing, though – it's just selecting individual events instead of entire seasons in one series or another. It conquered Pikes Peak last year with Sébastien Loeb and posted the top time at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with the same car and driver just last weekend. And next year, it will take on the famously grueling Dakar Rally with the 2008 DKR.
The French outfit announced the new off-road racer in March and revealed it in April, but it kept the key technical details a secret until now. As development progresses, Peugeot has revealed that the 2008 DKR packs a twin-turbodiesel V6 mounted amidships and driving 340 horsepower to only two wheels (presumably the rear ones) instead of all four.
The 2WD setup means a lighter weight and clearance in the rulebook to use bigger 37-inch tires, which it's fitted to a suspension with 18 inches of travel. Plus if Team Peugeot Total manages to win the rally raid, it'll be the first to do so in a two-wheel-drive diesel.
Fortunately Peugeot has lined up a crack team of drivers to handle the 2008 DKR, lead by two-time World Rally Champion and 2010 Dakar winner Carlos Sainz. Five-time Dakar motorbike winner Cyril Despres and Stéphane Peterhansel (who has won at Dakar five times each on two wheels and on four, including the last two years) will share the wheel.