Team Peugeot revealed the new Peugeot 3008 DKR. This is the successor to the machine with which Stéphane Peterhansel claimed his 12th Dakar victory in January. Cyril Despres clinched his first win on four wheels on the Silk Way Rally in July with the 2008 DKR.
Peugeot 3008 DKR – a technical challenge & designer dream
The all-new Dakar challenger is based on an entirely new model of Peugeot 3008. The new SUV will be revealed at the Paris Motor Show next month. It is the result of eight months of intensive work in Velizy, France.
“The new 3008 symbolises the next step”, said team director Bruno Famin. “Our goal with this car was to take the weaker points of the existing car and make them stronger. At the same time we wanted to capitalise on all the existing strengths.”
“Our new Dakar car is the most extreme expression of Peugeot’s latest SUV,” added Sébastien Criquet, senior ecterior designer. “It keeps the distinctive design language of the road car, but transports it into a rally context. And that’s the dream job for any designer: when you create a car, you always have a competition version at the back of your mind.”
The new Peugeot 3008 DKR improves on its illustrious predecessor in four main areas
Peugeot Sport’s engineers went through every aspect of the car in fine detail in order to refine the package still further. They focused both on mechanical strength and also complex electronic processes, such as engine management. The Dakar is the toughest race in the world, taking in 10, 000 kilometres at high speeds and altitudes. That makes it the ultimate test of reliability for any machine.
Peugeot Sport has now ensured that the car’s 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbodiesel engine is even more driveable for next year’s Dakar, delivering greater torque at lower revs. The latest Dakar regulations have imposed a smaller restrictor on the engine (38 mm as opposed to 39 mm last year). That means a net loss of around 20 horsepower. However, this power is now accessible from further down the rev range. The car is easier to drive and potentially even faster.
This is one of the key elements to success on the Dakar, as it governs just how quickly the car can cover the ever-changing untrammelled terrain that is the hallmark of the Dakar, ranging from salt flats, to WRC-style gravel roads, to sand dunes. The suspension was already one of the most impressive aspects of the Peugeot 2008 DKR for the drivers, but for the new 3008 DKR further work has been done on the geometry and dampers. The test programme up to now, which has included the 15-day long Silk Way Rally – featuring quite similar terrain to the Dakar – was instrumental in furthering these important improvements.
It’s something we all take for granted on our road cars. But the air conditioning that was introduced on 2008 DKR in Asia this summer has been made even more effective for 3008 DKR. At Dakar crews spend up to 12 hours a day inside the cars. Cockpit temperatures are in excess of 60 degrees centigrade. The effect of air conditioning on human performance cannot be underestimated. Even though the drivers are super-fit athletes, the improved air conditioning should help them to perform at a higher level and get more out of the car.
Team Peugeot ready to tackle new challenges
Peugeot Sport will be aiming now for the sixth Dakar win in its illustrious history, with last year’s triumph – in which a Peugeot led every proper stage – coming on top of four wins on the Dakar in Africa between 1987 and 1990. The Peugeot crews have 18 Dakar wins between them. The task ahead is still far from easy with an all-new route this year through Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay, as well as strong opposition.
Before the Dakar itself, Carlos Sainz will test the new PEUGEOT 3008 DKR in race mode against other Dakar competitors and Cyril Despres in the Peugeot 2008 DKR, during Morocco’s Rally in October.