Loeb will be competing in the Unlimited class and is seeking an outright win on the mountain, and perhaps a new record in the process.
At the same time, the Frenchman will be hoping to relive the glory of Peugeot’s 405 T16, which won back-to-back Pikes Peak climbs in 1988 and 1989 at the hands of Ari Vatanen and Robby Unser, respectively.
Fortunately for him, Peugeot has pulled no punches in its bid to win the event.
The Pikes Peak Hill Climb is the only race in the world that permits the fantasy of freeing the beast that lurks at the back of every engineer’s mind to become reality. Thanks to the event’s Unlimited class, an imagination is the only limit when it comes to designing the car.
For Peugeot, its 208 T16 Pikes Peak boasts a power output of 875 horsepower and tips the scales at an equal 875 kilograms (1,929 pounds). Add all-wheel drive and you’re looking at 0-60 mph acceleration in just 1.8 seconds. By seven seconds, the car will already be screaming past 150 mph.
Power comes from a twin-turbocharged 3.2-liter V-6 that revs to 7,800 rpm and is matched to a six-speed sequential gearbox with paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel. The chassis is a tubular steel frame while the body is made from pure carbon fiber.
The suspension is made up of double wishbones and pushrod-rocker arm actuation at all four corners, anti-roll bars at both ends and adjustable dampers. The brakes, meanwhile, are carbon ceramic discs, measuring more than 15 inches across and clamped down by light alloy calipers. These reside within 18-inch magnesium alloy wheels shod with Michelin tires.
Typical speeds on the climb range from about 30-150 mph, and above 60 aerodynamics play a key role. Here, the 208 T16 Pikes Peak’s hallmark rear wing and front splitter come into play. In addition, the car’s under-tray, which remains invisible throughout the race, is responsible for generating almost half the downforce.
The 2013 Pikes Peak Hill Climb is currently scheduled for June 30.
For more photos plus a video of Peugeot's new 208 T16 Pikes Peak, click here.