After conquering a 12.42 mile course that includes 156 turns and a climb from 9,390 to 14,110 feet at Pikes Peak, the 208 T16 will face the Goodwood hill climb, which will considerably shorter at 1.16 miles and with fewer corners, is nonetheless a challenging course driven by accomplished drivers in competitive vehicles.
The ‘King of The Peak’ car, which boasts a power output of 875 horsepower and tips the scales at just 875kg, also benefits from all-wheel drive and a spectacular aerodynamic package. Powered by a twin-turbo V6 endurance-racing petrol engine the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak car has even more power than a Formula 1 racing car and at the Goodwood Festival of Speed will be driven by Peugeot Sport test-driver Grégory Guilvert and will also be joined in the Cathedral Paddock by the 205 T16 and 405 T15 Pikes Peak cars.
Peugeot Sport paid careful attention to producing a particularly lightweight car. "We shaved the weight down to 875kg," observes Jean-Christophe Pallier, "and as a result, achieved the magic and symbolic power-to-weight ratio of 1:1". To be sure that the car’s handling was as agile as possible, the weight distribution of the tubular-framed machine was meticulously fine-tuned, with the engine sitting in a mid-rear position, like the famous Group B rally cars of the 1980s and like endurance racing prototypes.
Along with the winning 208 T16 Pikes Peak car, Peugeot is also demonstrating a couple of significant vehicles dynamically up the famous hillclimb.
One is the innovative Onyx Concept Car – a supercar that breaks the traditional mould with superb authenticity, innovative use of materials in its construction (copper, carbon-fibre, felt and newspaper wood) with performance to impress, especially given that most concept cars are for static appreciation only.
Within the carbon fibre shell sits a mid-mounted 3.7-litre V8 HDi FAP diesel-electric hybrid power unit developed with the expertise of Peugeot Sport and the experience acquired from racetracks the world over. NACA ducts in the double-bubble roofline supply the intake for the diesel V8 that produces 600bhp.
The other is a ‘First Glimpse’ vehicle – the 2014 Peugeot RCZ R - the culmination of an evolutionary product journey from original RCZ Concept to production vehicle, then into a three-times class-winning endurance race car that inspired the road-going RCZ R, which utilises a more powerful 1.6-litre THP engine with over 260bhp, making it the most powerful production model in Peugeot’s history. Its efficiency will be a benchmark with power/capacity among the highest in the world for production vehicles at over 160bhp/litre.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed takes place on 12th-14th July at Goodwood House, Chichester, West Sussex.