Judging by the sound this 208 T16 makes, it’s clearly a super-serious racecar. Lightning-quick, full-throttle gear changes, absolutely thumping boost from the 3.2-litre, V6 twin-turbo motor, and neck-snapping braking forces courtesy of fat Michelin slick tyres and composite stoppers.
It’s running in the Unlimited Class at Pikes Peak at the end of next month, and this cracking video from Peugeot gives fans of all things very fast cause for some drool-inducing appetite whetting. Fire it up!
Sure, it’s a PR stunt. Peugeot are spending a small fortune to launch nine-times World Rally Champion Sebastian Leob up the side of the Pikes Peak mountain. But we don’t mind, in fact we kinda like it. I mean, look at the car, listen to the sound – this 208 T16 – yes, there is the little Pug 208 in there somewhere, maybe the headlights! – this is a very serious car and Peugeot, Red Bull, Michelin, Total and Loeb are clearly going after the record. And without big, juicy PR stunts, we wouldn’t have insane cars attacking breathtaking mountain switchbacks.
As manufacturer PR videos goes, this is good one. Plenty of rip-roaring shots of the T16 at maximum attack and plenty of mics in the right places to soak up exactly what 875bhp of turbo-boosted power sounds like. And it sounds awesome.
This most recent of tests took place in Mont Ventoux, south of France; a famous stage from the Tour de France cycle race. The Peugeot team used this winding road as it’s very similar to the Pikes Peak track; a steep upwards slope with numerous turns, bends and corners, all the way up to its highest point at some 1,909 metres. So Loeb launched the T16 up the this twisting track and they got the video cameras out to record the goodness.
“This is an important run because Pikes Peak is very different from a nice, smooth race track,” said Loeb. “It is vital for us to evaluate the car on a terrain that is more like what we will find in the States. This road will give us a reasonably accurate idea…” High and scary, basically.
“It’s not the power that impresses me anymore; I’ve got used to it,” he continued. “It’s the speed at which the corners leap out at you which is more striking than round a circuit where there’s always a ‘100-metre’ board to show you where to brake. Here, you can be in fifth or sixth gear and you suddenly see mountainside ahead of you; you have to work out for yourself where you need to brake…”
Next up for Loeb and the fearsome T16 is some section-by-section practice at Pikes Peak – no teams are allowed up the full run for fear of advantage – and then up the Colorado mountain for real on June 30. Red Bull may be the headline sponsors, but it appears that all Loeb needs to fly is a massive pair of thrashing turbochargers!
By Dan Anslow