Peugeot has whipped the covers off its 2008 DKR purpose-built Dakar entrant, describing it as a “muscular, thoroughbred yet beastlike” racer.
The French carmaker recently announced its plans to return to the Dakar Rally in 2015 after a 25-year absence, with drivers Carlos Sainz and Cyril Despres (moving over from the bike category) behind the wheel.
Nine months out from the event, the 2008 DKR will be on display at this month’s Beijing Auto Show, with Peugeot releasing a handful of technical details on the machine it hopes will revive former Dakar glory.
The 2008 DKR is the combined effort of Peugeot’s Style Centre and Peugeot Sports design department, which Peugeot Sport’s Jean-Christophe Pailler said delivered on their precise instructions.
“We provided Peugeot’s Style Centre with a very precise brief,” Mr Pailler said.
“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 rally car’s design was influenced by the early decision to adopt two-wheel-drive over four-wheel-drive, which gave the designers room for extra suspension travel and bigger wheels wearing Michelin tyres almost a metre in diameter (94cm, to be precise).
Rather than base its rally car on the road-going 2008, the 2008 DKR is ‘inspired’ by the crossover SUV; described as ‘what a coupe version of the 2008 might look like’.
Powertrain details are a closely guarded secret, for now, but Peugeot may decide to release these details once testing gets underway.
The 2015 Dakar Rally is scheduled to run from January 3-17.