The 2015 Dakar Rally will see Peugeot return to the event 25 years after last competing, and testing has now begun on the imposing 2008 DKR all-terrain vehicle the manufacturer will take to South America.
The 340bhp twin-turbo diesel has been handed over to former rally driver Carlos Sainz for test driving in central France, and Peugeot hopes its decision to choose a two-wheel drive set-up pays off. The last 13 triumphant vehicles at the Dakar Rally were all four-wheel drive, and the manufacturer believes the bigger wheels afforded by the two-wheel configuration offers an advantage.
"Two-wheel drive cars are allowed to be significantly lighter than 4x4s", explained Peugeot Sport director Bruno Famin.
"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 Dakar Rally is regarded as one of the most gruelling motorsport challenges in the world, as it leads competitors through the most testing conditions in Argentina, Chile and Bolivia. With a successful history of competitive racing and fine engineering prowess, the Peugeot Sport team has a superb opportunity to triumph in the desert.
To test drive any of the brand's capable and stylish road cars, get in touch with Lookers Peugeot in Cardiff or Newport and speak to our professional advisors.