Nine-times world rally champ Sebastien Loeb emphasised his position as one of the world’s best-ever drivers, when he slashed a staggering 92 seconds off the record time in the Unlimited class at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, near Colorado Springs.
The Frenchman, driving a specially-built four-wheel-drive Peugeot 208 T16, clocked a time of of 8min 13.878sec. The 12.4-mile course has 156 corners and rises 5000 feet. At times the road has unprotected sheer drops of 2000ft.
The steel spaceframe chassis 208 T16, which was built over four months, utilised proven components from Peugeot’s 908 Le Mans cars.
Fitted with a mid-mounted 3.2-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V6, the power was delivered via a six-speed four-wheel-drive transaxle. It was also fitted with carbon fibre racing brakes, and torsion-bar double wishbone suspension front and rear.
Performance? Thanks to its extraordinary power-to-weight, mated to its traction, the car is capable of 0-62mph in 1.8secs, and a 0-150mph time of 7.0 sec.
Peugeot is hoping to display the Pikes Peak 208 T16 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed later this month, though arrangements have yet to be finalised.