After the release of photographs of the awesome new Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak race car last week, the European automaker has now revealed details on the car that they hope Sebastian Loeb will use to become King of the Peak next month in Colorado.

On June 30, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb race in the Unlimited Class will determine this year’s most determined high-altitude car and driver.  To give Loeb every advantage, Peugeot has crafted a 208 with an unprecedented 1:1 horsepower to kilogram ratio.  That’s right, the car itself weighs only 875 kg and outputs 875 hp to go with.

Specially-built for the race, the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak features an all-aluminum frame, extremely lightweight body parts using carbon panels, a specially-tuned aerodynamics package and stabilizer, and a specifically-tuned GT race engine for throatier intake to accommodate the high-altitude choking inherent in climbing to over 4,000 meters above sea level.

“Your imagination is the only limit when you set out to design a car for Pikes Peak,” grins Jean-Christophe Pallier, the Peugeot Sport engineer tasked with the 208 T16 Pikes Peak project. “Designing this car was a tremendously rewarding experience, even though we still had to take the ‘time’ factor into account…”

The bi-turbo V6 engine in the 208 T16 was designed for endurance racing and given the up to 30% loss in power during the climb, due to the rarified air, it will need it.  Weight distribution was fine-tuned with the engine at mid-rear position, just behind the driver, Group B-style.

This will be the second year in a row that the entire Hill Climb is being done on pavement, the paving having been completed in 2011 after the race.  This opens up new opportunities for entries with many more entrants going for racing rubber rather than rally tread.  The Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak will use Michelin bespokes.

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An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP) and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at AaronOnAutos.com.

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