Peugeot Sport will defend its 2016 Dakar Rally title with a brand new Peugeot 3008 DKR for next year’s event, superseding the successful 2008 DKR.
The 3008 DKR will be debuted by Spanish rally legend Carlos Sainz in Morocco next month and features a raft of upgrades over its predecessor, that Stephane Peterhansel guided to victory in the famous Dakar event last January.
“The 3008 symbolises the next step,” said head of Peugeot Sport, Bruno Famin. “Our goal with this car was to take the weaker points of the existing car and make them stronger, while capitalising on all the existing strengths to improve them still further. There are also some new regulations, which we obviously needed to comply with.”
(2017 Peugeot 3008 vs. Peugeot 3008 DRK)
The new car will feature improvements to the reliability, driveability, suspension and air conditioning, while it will also include new 38mm turbo restrictors on its biturbo V6 diesel engine, downsized from a 39mm unit this year, as per new regulations.
The French marque believes that the new car will deliver greater torque at lower revs, making it more drivable, while the net loss of around 14.7 kilowatts (20 horsepower) from the smaller restrictor will be compensated by the power being accessible from further down the rev range.
The new car will remain two-wheel drive. In January this year, Peterhansel won the grueling event with the 2008 DKR, the first victory for a two-wheel drive machine in 15 years.
Peterhansel, Sainz, World Rallycross driver Sebastien Loeb and Cyril Despres will campaign the new machine next January, while Despres will drive a 2008 DKR in Morocco alongside Sainz in the newer machine next month. Despres recently won the Silk Way Rally in the 2008 DKR.
French designer Sebastien Criquet has been involved in the exterior design of both the 3008 DKR and its road-going counterpart, and is confident that the two different vehicles compliment each other for their desired purposes.
“Our new Dakar car is the most extreme expression of Peugeot’s latest SUV,” said Criquet
“It keeps the distinctive design language of the road car, but transports it into a rally context. And that’s the dream job for any designer: when you create a car, you always have a competition version at the back of your mind.”
The Dakar features an all-new route for 2017, which will run though Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay.