The Peugeot 2008 DKR made quite a buzz when it was revealed earlier this year and honestly we can’t wait to see how it performs at the 2015 Dakar Rally with just two driven wheels. Today, the French carmaker released further details and specs of its brand new monster and says that the DKR can practically climb vertical walls.
Of course, we don’t believe this, but we must admit that the video released by the company amazed us. According to Peugeot, the 2008 DKR is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 biturbo diesel delivering 340 hp and 800 Nm.
The engine is positioned mid-rear and offers a top speed of 200 km/h or 124 mph. Power is delivered to only two wheels via the longitudinally-mounted six-speed manual sequential gearbox. In addition, there is a longer suspension travel (460 mm instead of 250 mm) that enhances the ability over dunes and when soaking up uneven ground.
Technical project manager Jean-Christophe Pallier summarises them: “In motorsport, weight is counter to performance. However, in the case of cross-country rallying, two-wheel drive cars are allowed to be significantly lighter than 4x4s.”
“Fitting all of the vital assemblies into such a small space gave us quite a headache!” admits Pallier. “Small cars tend to perform more comfortably over twisty WRC-type stages, so this arrangement increases the potential of two-wheel drive cars in situations where the 4x4s tend to have the edge.”
After Team Peugeot-Total managed to awe the public with the looks of the new Peugeot 2008 DKR, the team is now unveiling the mechanicals of its latest rallying monster. Interestingly, while most participants in the 2015 Dakar Rally are 4x4 brutes, the Peugeot 2008 DKR is simply a two-wheel drive beast.
Challenging the Dakar Rally is only for the extremely capable as participants have to tackle mountains, canyons, salt deserts, dry river beds, fesh-fesh sands, rough terrain, dunes, and furnace-like temperatures. To overcome these challenges, Team Peugeot-Total opted to field a closed-cockpit car just like they did at the Le Mans 24 Hours. Peugeot Sport Director Bruno Famin remarked that this way, they are adopting an innovative concept.
Initially, the team had to decide whether to field a four-wheel drive or a two-wheel drive vehicle to a sporting event like cross-country rallying. Eventually, the team decided to field a two-wheel drive vehicle because of the interesting advantages of such configuration. Famin remarked that such a bold decision will allow Team Peugeot-Total to try to become the first team to claim Dakar victory with a diesel engine with power being sent to two wheels.
Since 4x4 vehicles have the inherent advantage in an event like the Dakar Rally, rules seek to even the playing field by allowing two-wheel drive vehicles to benefit from certain spec upgrades. As revealed by Technical project manager Jean-Christophe Pallier, cross-country rallying events allow two-wheel drive cars to be dramatically lighter than their 4x4 counterparts.
Two-wheel drive vehicles could also employ bigger wheels to allow them to manage and survive a number of pitfalls typically associated with the rallying terrain. Furthermore, two-wheel drive cars are allowed to have a minimal front overhang, thereby allowing the Peugeot 2008 DKR to practically climb vertical walls. Moreover, Pallier quipped that the 2008 DKR boasts of a longer suspension travel – from 250 mm to 460 mm – allowing it to be more able to tackle over dunes and uneven ground.
To note, a larger wheel size paves way for a system that allows the driver to remotely adjust the tire pressures from inside the cockpit, which could result to considerable time gain.