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Old 04-17-2013, 11:55 AM
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Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak 2013

Always ready to rise to a fresh challenge, the nine-time world rally champion Sébastien Loeb and Peugeot Sport will contest the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 30. 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.

The announcement of this ambitious project three weeks ago caused something of a buzz in motorsport circles, and the time has now come for the next phase of this exciting adventure: the unveiling of the machine with which Sébastien Loeb will target victory in Colorado. Although its exterior styling resembles that of the production model, the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak was tailor engineered and designed to meet the specific needs of the famous American event.

No punches have been pulled with the 208 T16 Pikes Peak which will compete in the event’s premier ‘Unlimited’ class, a category that allows plenty of freedom on the technical front. The engineers have naturally taken on-board the salient features of this legendary competition, the USA’s oldest after the Indy 500 and a truly unique cocktail because of its incredibly twisty, high-altitude course.

That said, Peugeot can count on the considerable experience it gained of the so-called ‘Race to the Clouds’ with the 405 T16 which claimed back-to-back victories in 1988 and 1989, in the hands of Ari Vatanen and Robby Unser respectively. Sébastien Loeb counts among those who were struck by the film ‘Climb Dance’ which was produced to commemorate Vatanen’s resounding success.

Now that he has taken a step back from world class rallying after dominating the World Rally Championship for almost a decade, Sébastien Loeb is keen to turn his attention to new challenges. In addition to his involvement in this year’s GT World Series, he snapped up the opportunity to contest the celebrated Pikes Peak Hill Climb and discover its 156 corners which he will tackle without the help of a co-driver. The Frenchman will also have to cope with a strength-sapping altitude difference of some 1,500 metres in less than 20 kilometres, with the finish line situated at an altitude of 4,301 metres!

The Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak breaks cover!

Aggressive, racy, ferocious even… These are some of the adjectives that describe the awesome Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak which is poised to take up the challenge of the world’s highest motorsport event on June 30!

The car which Sébastien Loeb will drive in Colorado boasts a highly distinctive design: “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!”

All that remains now is to discover the performance potential 208 T16 Pikes Peak and its final livery. Be patient, all will soon be revealed!
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:58 AM
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Peugeot 208 T16
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:30 PM
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SÉBASTIEN LOEB AND THE PEUGEOT 208 T16 PIKES PEAK SET NEW RECORD

After months of anticipation, Sébastien Loeb has shattered the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb record with a breath-taking time of 8m13.878s in the 208 T16 Pikes Peak. The Frenchman negotiated the 20 kilometres and 156 corners of the mountain at an average speed of 145kph.

Loeb’s time blitzed the previous best of 9m46.164s, set by Rhys Millen last year, with the top three finishers all beating the 2012 record. “For me, this was the race of the year,” said Loeb at the finish, 4300 metres high in the Rocky Mountains. “At the beginning of my run there was a bit of pressure for sure because I knew there was so much work and investment from Peugeot and all the partners. Now, after all the practice, it was just down to me and I had to perform.”

Loeb started first of the Unlimited class cars, unleashing his 875-horsepower car onto the mountain this morning after all the motorcycle competitors had passed through. However there were a number of delays before he started, which meant that the team began to worry about bad weather: a common feature of Pikes Peak at high altitude. “When I was on the start line waiting to go, I could actually see the clouds closing in at the top of the mountain,” said Loeb. “I remember thinking that if we didn’t get going soon, it would be really difficult.”

As it was, Loeb blasted his 208 T16 Pikes Peak through the clouds in a time that was even quicker than Peugeot Sport’s computer had thought was possible. The ideal theoretical time – calculated using data from Loeb’s practice runs up the Colorado mountain – was 8m15s. The nine-time world rally champion somehow managed to shave two seconds off that.

“I’m really happy as that was a very good run in the end,” said Loeb. “I really didn’t expect anything better than 8m15s, so to do 8m13s was fantastic. Before the start I didn’t really know if I should push absolutely to the maximum or if I should just push to a comfortable pace, in order to make sure of the victory. In the end, I decided to push to the limit.”

The result was spectacular, with Loeb now joining the pantheon of Pikes Peak winners; nearly one year to the day after he first conquered America by winning the rally cross finale of the X-Games on July 1, 2012. Despite his flat-out approach, the multiple champion didn’t even report any major moments, while his Peugeot has been completely reliable throughout the entire month it has been in America.

“It was good, all under control from start to finish,” he concluded. “Apart from the potential of the weather turning bad, we didn’t have any worrying moments.” The scenes of success at Peugeot were reminiscent of 1988, when former world rally champion Ari Vatanen broke the Pikes Peak record for the French manufacturer exactly 25 years ago, with the 405 T16 Pikes Peak. Back then the benchmark was 10m47.220s on gravel roads – a sign of just how rapidly technology has evolved.

In second place on the 91st ‘Race to the Sky’ this year was former record-holder Rhys Millen in his all-new Hyundai RMR PM580-T, 49 seconds behind Loeb with a time of 9m02.192s. Nonetheless, the New Zealander beat his own record – and he says that he’s determined to break the nine-minute barrier next year.

“I think it’s fair to say that we were racing for second place today,” said Millen. “Myself and Romain Dumas had been really close throughout practice, but then I heard that his engine had unfortunately broken at the start. I knew I wasn’t going to beat Sebastien’s time, so I just decided to take no risks. You have to hand it to Loeb and Peugeot Sport: they were unbeatable. That time they set was simply incredible. When will it be beaten? It might never be…”

For Loeb & Peugeot Sport, it was the end to a remarkable one-shot adventure that had taken them from early tests of the 208 T16 Pikes Peak at Mont Ventoux in France to the untrammelled mountains of Colorado: officially America’s highest state. Pikes Peak is a legend: the second-oldest car race in America after the Indy 500. And now Loeb – the new King of the Peak – and the Peugeot car are part of American history.
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File Type: jpg Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak 2013 002.jpg (960.6 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak 2013 003.jpg (654.8 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak 2013 004.jpg (968.9 KB, 16 views)
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