Reliability: While the previous 2008 DKR was durable enough to win the 2016 Dakar and claim nine stages (including seven one-twos), in any competition machine there is always room to improve on reliability. Peugeot Sport’s engineers went through every aspect of the car in fine detail in order to refine the package further, focussing both on mechanical strength and also complex electronic processes, such as engine management. The Dakar is the toughest race in the world, taking in 10,000 kilometres at high speeds and altitudes, which makes it the ultimate test of reliability for any machine.
Driveability: Huge steps were made in this area from the 2015 debut to 2016, but Peugeot Sport ensured that the new 3008 DKR’s 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbodiesel engine was even more driveable for the 2017 Dakar Challenge, delivering greater torque at lower revs. Adding to the challenge for the engineers is the fact that the latest Dakar regulations have imposed a smaller restrictor on the engine (38mm as opposed to 39mm last year) with a net loss of around 20 horsepower. However, this power is now accessible from further down the rev range, meaning that the new 3008 DKR is easier to drive and even faster.
Suspension: This is one of the key elements to success on the Dakar, as it governs just how quickly the car can cover the ever-changing untrammelled terrain that is the hallmark of the Dakar, ranging from salt flats, to WRC-style gravel roads and sand dunes. The suspension was already one of the most impressive aspects of the Peugeot 2008 DKR for the drivers, but for the new 3008 DKR, further work was done on the geometry and dampers. The test programme up to now, which has included the 15-day Silk Way Rally – featuring quite similar terrain to the Dakar – was instrumental in furthering these important improvements.
Air Conditioning: It's something we all take for granted on our road cars, but the air conditioning that was introduced on the 2008 DKR in Asia for Summer 2016 has been made even more effective for Peugeot Sport’s latest creation. With crews spending up to 12 hours a day inside the cars, subject to cockpit temperatures in excess of 60 degrees centigrade, the effect of air conditioning on human performance cannot be underestimated. Even though the drivers are super-fit athletes, the improved air conditioning helped them to perform at a higher level and get more out of the new 3008 DKR.