The 208 T16, which has been designed to comply with the FIA’s Class R5 regulations, has been putting miles on its clock since it broke cover in December 2012. It is about to begin the asphalt phase of its development.
As the flagship of Peugeot Sport’s customer competition activities, the 208 T16 is continuing to be put through its paces as part of its intensive development programme. It has already notched up some 20 days of testing on gravel and this work has enabled its chief technical characteristics to be finalised. Peugeot Sport’s engineers started by focusing on the reliability of its chassis, engine, electronics and suspension, before turning their attention to set-up work.
In sometimes appalling weather conditions, the successor to the 207 S2000 has been subjected to torture at various locations in France (Riboux, Mazamet, Auxerre) in the hands of Bryan Bouffier, Craig Breen and Kris Meeke. Peugeot Sport’s objective is to produce a competitive yet durable package which will enable its customers to target victory on all types of terrain.
Although the gravel part of the programme hasn’t been entirely completed, the 208 T16 is about to embark on the asphalt phase of its development. The objective remains to clock up many thousands of miles in testing before deliveries of the car to customers begin at the end of the year.
Kris Meeke: “The 208 T16 feels very strong. I still have no idea of its real potential because I have only driven it on the loose so far, but I can tell you that it has the makings of a great car. We still need to explore a few ideas and it is very exciting to work on a new project such as this, especially as there is no benchmark because we are working to new regulations. I love it when a project gets to this stage. It is extremely interesting to work on a top car from the start and try to make it a winner!”
Craig Breen: “Our aim is to get as many kilometres on the 208 T16’s clock as possible in order to make it the car to beat in the new R5 class. We are obviously highly motivated. In everybody’s minds, the name ‘T16’ conjures up images of a car that made an indelible mark on the history of the sport, and our aim is to see history repeat itself! The car is making the progress you would expect and is improving each time out. I rediscover it and learn more every time I sit in it! I always have a big smile on my face whenever I get behind the wheel.”