Refreshed 2016 Peugeot 2008 DKR16 revealed
The refreshed 2016 Peugeot 2008 DKR16 has been revealed ahead of its attack on the epic Dakar Rally in January (2016).
LONGER, WIDER AND LOWER than it predecessor, the refreshed 2016 Peugeot DKR16 will get its competitive debut later this year before heading to South America for the Dakar Rally 2016 in January.
The changes to the car, according to Peugeot Sport, are based on the experience the team had at this year’s Dakar Rally (2015). So “The front and rear overhangs have been reduced, enhancing the car’s go-anywhere ability. This is vital when it comes to tackling the varied obstacles, such as sand dunes, river beds and huge rocks, that characterise the Dakar, making it one of the last true sporting adventures left on earth,” Peugeot Sport said. The bonnet and roof-mounted air-intake have been revised “in order to provide more balanced downforce between front and rear”.
The suspension has been redesigned to deal more effectively with the different and rough terrains. The DKR16 also benefits from better weight distribution, as well as magnesium one-piece wheels, matched to lighter tyres. Under the bonnet, and despite an air restrictor, the 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo diesel engine now puts out 261kW and 800Nm of torque.
Peugeot Sport Director Bruno Famin, overseeing the final test in Morocco to sign off the latest incarnation of Peugeot’s Dakar challenger, commented: “There isn’t one big change that we have made on our car: instead it has been a series of small evolutions in different areas, which together we hope will amount to an overall improvement. The areas we have concentrated on include bodywork and aerodynamics – as a result of which the car looks slightly different compared to last year – as well as engine and suspension, which is all under the skin. The tests we have carried out up to now, as well as our one-two finish in China recently, indicate that we are heading in the right direction. You really cannot compare our state of preparation now to how it was for our first Dakar this time last year, when everything was new to us! Of course you can never say that you are completely ready for the Dakar either, because you simply never know what it will throw at you, but certainly this time we are more ready.”
According to Peugeot, its engineers went over the car “piece by piece”, with the team’s lead drivers and Dakar experts Stéphane Peterhansel (an 11-time winner), Carlos Sainz (a two-time world rally champion and also former Dakar winner) and Cyril Despres (a five-time Dakar winner on bikes).
These improvements were gradually applied and assessed through a series of tests, culminating in a one-two finish for Peterhansel and Despres on the recent China Silk Road Rally, using an interim-specification car. This was essentially the 2015 model with a number of development parts for 2016 added.
Peterhansel, who gave the Peugeot 2008 DKR its first-ever overall win in China, said: “You can really feel the difference now that the car is longer and wider, with a lower centre of gravity, because it’s a lot more stable so cornering speeds are faster. You can feel the difference in the engine as well: not only is it more powerful, but you can also use all the power even at low revs. We’ve almost got a ‘problem’ now of how to manage all that power most effectively, but this is a very nice problem to have. We’re still not at the maximum of our capabilities, but testing has been very productive so far.”