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2015 Peugeot 2008 DKR Dakar Rally Car Photo:
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Trevor Collett | Mar, 28 2014 | 2 Comments

Peugeot is set to return to the gruelling Dakar Rally in a multi-year program beginning in 2015, competing with a specialised ‘DKR’ version of its 2008 crossover SUV.

Following a record-breaking Pikes Peak Hill Climb campaign in 2013, the French carmaker declares it has “lost none if its taste for motorsport”, as its focus now shifts to challenging 10,000km Dakar event after a 25 year absence.

Peugeot has lured previous Dakar winner and all-round rally ace Carlos Sainz to spearhead the driver line-up, while Cyril Despres will make the shift from two wheels to four as the team’s second driver, after winning the Dakar motorcycle class five times.

The legendary, rally-bred 205 won the Dakar twice for Peugeot in the late 80s, sharing four wins in succession from 1987-1990 with the larger 405 model.

The 1980s team included the best-of-the-best in rallying, with names like Shekhar Mehta, Ari Vatanen, Jacky Ickx, Juha Kankkunen and Team Principal, Jean Todt.

“Our aim is to win the Dakar in 2015,” Peugeot CEO, Maxime Picat, said.

“We are delighted to be returning because it’s an event which enjoys extensive coverage globally. It is well known in Europe, as well as in such important markets as South America and China. It takes place in South America, with much of the action in Argentina where Peugeot has traditionally enjoyed a strong foothold.”

Mr Picat said the choice to use the 2008 was an easy one, as the SUV is the brand’s latest offering in the class and has proved a big hit in Europe.

Lead driver Carlos Sainz said the offer to join Peugeot for another tilt at the Dakar was “a proposal too good to resist”.

“I have often competed against Peugeot Sport in the past and I have known for years just how passionate it is about motorsport,” Sainz said.

More information about the 2015 Peugeot 2008 DKR rally car will be revealed at the Beijing Auto Show on April 20.

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