Peugeot unmasks its new Dakar rally challenger

The model is a heavily tuned racer based on the in-demand Peugeot 2008 crossover.

The 2008 DKR features an aggressive stance dictated by the technical constraints associated with its mission.

Project Leader at Peugeot Sport, Jean-Christophe Pailler, commented: “We provided Peugeot’s Style Centre with a very precise brief,

“We supplied them with the basic key dimensions, as well as other information such as the cabin space we required, plus the wheel size and the suspension travel. They also had aerodynamic data resulting from our early simulation work."

The Peugeot 2008 DKR features an aggressive stance dictated by the technical constraints associated with its mission. While it’s not as powerful as Peugeot’s previous rally race car, the 800bhp-plus Peugeot 208 T16, it does boast monstrous 37-inch diameter off-road tyres.

The 2008 DKR, like its road-going counterpart, uses a two-wheel drive due to its effective in driving through sand.

Carrying over the road car’s styling cues to the rear of the new Dakar challenger turned out to be relatively straightforward, but the front proved more taxing for the design team, as Michael Trouve, Peugeot Design Manager, relates.

He explained: “Due to the off-road capability needed, the approach angle had to be very high. This meant a very short overhang, which in turn resulted in a front-end design that was quite different to that of the production version.

“Happily, the technical team didn’t hesitate to listen to our arguments and accepted to reposition certain parts which could have been a problem for us. That gave us a little freedom to design a front end that resembled the look of the road car as closely as possible."

Peugeot will be targeting a stunning victory in next year’s Dakar Rally event. To help them achieve such a goal the manufacturer has hired World Rally legend Carlos Sainz to develop and race the car.The Spaniard commented: “The philosophy behind the 2008 DKR marks a radical break and packs a high number of new ideas,

“The end result is like no other two-wheel drive car. It is very compact and that’s good. Having done the last two Dakars in a two-wheel drive car, I am convinced it is a solution that can win the event."