Peugeot_208_T16_Pikes_Peak

The Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak is raring to race to the clouds, as it is unveiled in its full racing livery for the first time. As expected it uses the French carmaker’s traditional competition stripes, with influences of key partners Red Bull, Total and Michelin.

Sebastien Loeb’s new machine may have lost its Darth Vader-like menacing black/naked carbonfibre skin, but it gains plenty of new details to bring it closer to the road-going 208. It’s still a silhouette racer, no doubt, but the chrome grille and headlight stickers do add a healthy dose of realism.

The main objective is to win the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb, as they’ve done before with the Peugeot 405 T16 Pikes Peak driven by Ari Vatanen. The pair’s earlier attempt with the shorter-bodied 205 T16 Pikes Peak lost out to Walter Rohrl’s Audi Sport Quattro S1 in 1987.

With nine-time rally champion Loeb at the wheel and a winning heritage in tow, anything less than an outright victory would be a disappointment for the French team. Can they triumph again in their return to the event? Only six more weeks till we find out.