15 April 2014

Peugeot reveals 2015 Dakar challenger

Here is the car that will spearhead the partnership of Peugeot, Red Bull and Total in the 2015 Dakar, writes Trish Whelan.

The muscular, beastlike form of the Peugeot 2008 DKR gives a vivid indication of the new car's serious desire for success. With this car, Carlos Sainz and Cyril Despress will defend the colours of Team Peugeot Total on next January's Dakar.

The car shares a family resemblance with Peugeot's road-going 2008 crossover, but with more muscular forms, a more aggressive stance, and more overall proportions.

The four-strong Peugeot design team opted for two-wheel drive transmission and its ability to run on sand. This allowed them to fit bigger wheels and also to benefit from more suspension travel. So the car sits on 37-inch diameter Michelin tyres (almost 94cm). Another feature is that the car doesn't have rear doors.

Carlos Sainz has already contested the Dakar seven times in the colours of Red Bull, in both two-wheel and four-wheel drive cars, so is well aware of the technical constraints that go hand-in-hand with the exacting South American stages. He was immediately won over by the new car's design.

What lies beneath the bodywork remains a secret for the moment.