Peugeot has confirmed technical details of its 208 T16 Pikes Peak which tested for the first time by Sebastien Loeb last week.
The French marque describes the car as "practically an out-and-out endurance racing prototype." The 3.2-liter, twin-turbo V6 (BELOW) engine develops 875hp – matching the car's weight of 875 kilos [1,929 lbs].
Peugeot Sport engineer Jean-Christophe Pallier said: "Your imagination is the only limit when you set out to design a car for Pikes Peak. We've shaved the car down to 875 kilos and as a result we've achieved the magic and symbolic power-to-weight ratio of 1:1, one hp for every one kg of weight."
Peugeot Sport Director Bruno Famin added that the choice of a turbo engine was an easy one.
“In the case of a normally aspirated engine, you basically lose one percent of the available power every 100 meters you climb,” he notes. "This is a fundamental parameter that has to be taken into account for this race which starts at an altitude of 2,865 meters [9,400ft] and finishes at 4,301 meters [14,110ft]! By the time they reach the start line, certain engines automatically shed some 30 percent of their potential. A powerful engine is consequently essential because there can be no question of Sebastien Loeb lacking power on the day."
The 6-speed transmission, carbon brakes, air intake and aero – including the 6 1/2-foot wide rear wing – are all from the 908. They will help the 208 go from 0-62mph in 1.8 seconds and from zero to a top speed of 150mph in just seven seconds.
In an effort to maintain balance in the car, the engine sits in a mid-rear position in the tubular chassis. Pallier says the team's radical approach to aero could give it the edge in June's Colorado hillclimb classic: "The speeds reached in the ascension range from 50kph to 240kph and aerodynamics play a key role from 100kph."
Half of the downforce generated by the 208 comes from the specially designed undertray which sits beneath the car.
The 208 T16 Pikes Peak is running again this week, with endurance racer Greg Guilvert taking the wheel at a venue close to Pau.
This year's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is set for June 30.