Sébastien Loeb has had his first opportunity to sample the 208 T16 Pikes Peak he is poised to drive in Colorado on June 30. The nine-time world rally champion believes he has the ultimate machine to help him win the famous Race to the Clouds. The next step will be to fully tame the 875hp beast.
When Sébastien Loeb’s helicopter landed alongside the high-security track at La Ferté-Vidame, in northwestern France, the rally star believed he was in for a routine test session. After just a handful of laps in the car, he realised that this was something different, however… “The 208 T16 Pikes Peak is a rocket! It’s so powerful! The first time you drive it, each gear change practically stuns you. The shifts are really brutal, and it takes a little time to anticipate the sudden jarring. You get used to it, but it was quite disorienting to begin with.”
The Frenchman may have seen it all on world rallying’s most challenging stages, but his words were far from blasé after his first taste of the 208 T16 Pikes Peak. “I’ve never driven anything that accelerates so fast!” he remarked. “In the lower gears, a Formula 1 car doesn’t deliver maximum power. With the Peugeot, though, it’s bang, bang, bang as you move up the box from standstill. Thanks to its four-wheel drive transmission and turbocharged engine, its pull-away performance is phenomenal! You find yourself in sixth gear at 240kph in no time at all!” Indeed, with a 0-100kph time of 1.8s, the 208 T16 Pikes Peak would leave any F1 car standing. It is not only the gearbox which made a big impression on rallying’s superstar. “Thanks to its aerodynamic downforce and wide tyres, its braking is amazing, too.” he exclaimed.
News Source: Peugeot