Peugeot’s amazing 208 T16 is the reason that 2013 Pikes Peak international hill climb event is a bit more special the previous years. Everybody is waiting to see how this 875-hp beast, driven by rally master Sébastien Loeb, will get on against the competition. Following a test session in Mont Ventoux, the team has now arrived in Colorado, and yesterday they had the first Pikes Peak shakedown.
Loeb took the car out for a spin first thing in the morning ahead of the official practice session, getting to know its handling better, and also familiarize himself with the altitude, and 156 corners of the Pikes Peak course. The French driver has experienced pretty much every form of motorsport, but perhaps none of them as physically demanding as the challenge ahead.
“I feel very confident with the car,” confirmed Sébastien Loeb. “That’s a reassuring start, if only because of the speeds we get up to here. We are already getting close to the limit in many places. All we need to do now is make some detail changes and we will be ready for the Big Day!” For that, the team will benefit from three more official practice sessions at the end of this week and that will mark a fresh phase in Peugeot Sport’s acclimatisation process.
Peugeot has put together a killer team for this year’s Pikes Peak, hoping to make history by breaking the record and putting on a great show for the fans. They have done this once before in 1988 with 405 T16 and Ari Vatanen at the wheel.
The 108 T16 is a bespoke racing machine developed exclusively for Pikes Peak, featuring a mid-mounted engine that makes 875 horsepower. Given the fact that the car weighs 875 kilo, it has a spot on power to weight ratio of 1:1.