Testing has begun on Peugeot’s 2008 DKR, which the Peugeot Sport team will race at this year’s Dakar Rally. The manufacturer’s involvement with Dakar marks a return to the event 25 years after its last victory, and further details are now known on the all-terrain racer.
One notable feature of the vehicle is its two-wheel drive configuration, which deviates from the four-wheel drive set-up typically used in the desert. Peugeot Sport director Bruno Famin confirmed that the team deliberated over turning away from a powertrain arrangement that has been used by the last 13 Dakar Rally winners.
“When it comes to cross-country rallying, the biggest question is whether to run with four-wheel drive or just two”, he commented.
"After a detailed study of the question, we decided to go for two-wheel drive transmission which presents a number of interesting benefits."
The manufacturer’s technical project manager Jean-Christophe Pallier explained these benefits: "Two-wheel drive cars are allowed to be significantly lighter than 4x4s," he said.
"They are also entitled to use bigger wheels, which provide a certain advantage when it comes to coping with the many pitfalls associated with this type of terrain. On top of that, they allow us to minimise the front overhang. The 2008 DKR can practically climb vertical walls!
"And that's not all: longer suspension travel - 460mm instead of 250mm - enhances its ability over dunes and when soaking up uneven ground. That's a key asset on an event like the Dakar."
The 2008 DKR shares its name with Peugeot’s 2008 crossover model, and the latter is better suited to the urban environment rather than the deserts of South America. The family car and all others from the French brand are available to test drive with Charles Hurst today. Contact our Belfast dealership for details.