Sebastian Loeb and his bespoke 875bhp Peugeot 208 T16 racer did not disappoint us on Sunday.
The flying Frenchman smashed the 2012 Pikes Peak Unlimited course record by 92 seconds, clocking an entirely unbeatable time of just 8min 13.878sec for the 12.4-mile course which quickly climbs 5,000 feet and rips through 156 corners – some of them with lethal drops off the edge. Even veterans of the perilous peak couldn’t touch Loeb in qualifying, let alone on race day.
We reported the exterior-view video yesterday here on Motor-Vision, but it has taken until today for the full edit of the multi-camera interior view to make it from the editor’s desk and onto our screens. And while perhaps the first video was a little lacking in sound and severity – and the snarling T16 has both of these by the big bucket load – this new video is packed with snap, crackle and pop.
The 3.2-litre, V6 twin-turbo motorsport motor thrashing behind Loeb’s head can be clearly heard delivering its incredible power on huge waves of turbo boost, while Loeb punches through the gears; hitting up to 160mph in places. This thing leaps to 150mph in just 7 seconds, and even the nine times World Rally Champion said it was a bit of a beast to drive!
Here we see him pilot the red-hot 208 like a circuit racer – with all of the Pikes Peak course now tarmac for the first time – so gone are the outrageous slides of the WRC, replaced by pin-perfect apex-chasing. There’s an old motorsport saying that the fast drivers are the tidy ones, and here we see Loeb keeping his lines as clean as a freshly chromed whistle. He makes it look easy. Perhaps not even ‘that fast’. But it is fast, and it’s testament to Loeb’s sheer driving genius, and the Peak-course-perfect set up of the T16 by the Peugeot Sport team. They built this car in under four months. They can build me a car any time!
So, sit back, crank up the volume, and see and hear for yourself what it’s like to rocket to the clouds in an all-business, carbon fibre, tarmac weapon that would surely eat absolutely anything powered by petrol and running on rubber up this twisting ribbon of death-defying tarmac. Loeb and Peugeot Sport have conquered Pikes Peak without question, and some are even saying that this incredible run will never be beaten…
By Dan Anslow