What Peugeot first introduced as the 208 R5 is now renamed to the Peugeot 208 T16 Rally car, and it’s being developed for the FIA R5 rally championship. The T16 badge is also being used for Peugeot’s magnificent 875 horsepower Pikes Peak racer.
The T16 testing and tuning program is well underway, as it has already racked up many high-performance kilometers in its 20 days of gravel tests. Peugeot Sport’s engineers started by focusing on the reliability of its chassis, engine, electronics and suspension, before turning their attention to set-up work. They reckon the T16 is going to be significantly faster than the 207 S2000 that it replaces.
Nest stage is asphalt testing, where the test drivers are going to have a lot of fun putting this little beast through its paces on closed courses.
Kris Meeke: “The 208 T16 feels very strong. I still have no idea of its real potential because I have only driven it on the loose so far, but I can tell you that it has the makings of a great car. We still need to explore a few ideas and it is very exciting to work on a new project such as this, especially as there is no benchmark because we are working to new regulations. I love it when a project gets to this stage. It is extremely interesting to work on a top car from the start and try to make it a winner!”
Craig Breen: “Our aim is to get as many kilometres on the 208 T16’s clock as possible in order to make it the car to beat in the new R5 class. We are obviously highly motivated. In everybody’s minds, the name ‘T16’ conjures up images of a car that made an indelible mark on the history of the sport, and our aim is to see history repeat itself! The car is making the progress you would expect and is improving each time out. I rediscover it and learn more every time I sit in it! I always have a big smile on my face whenever I get behind the wheel.”