The hidden secrets of the Peugeot 2008 DKR

We lift the lid on Carlos Sainz, Cyril Despres, and Stéphane Peterhansel’s new desert raider.
By Abel Cruz

“Much like we did when we chose to build a closed-cockpit car for the Le Mans 24 Hours, we decided to try a totally different strategy to that of our main rival,” said Bruno Famin, Peugeot Sport Director, comparing the new 2008 DKR with the Dakar-winning Mini. “Since they've mastered four-wheel-drive, we have chosen to focus on optimising two-wheel-drive, which offers a number of intriguing benefits.”

In the early 80s, 4x4 was the way of the future as the Audi Quattro and Peugeot 205 proved as they swept all before them in the WRC. But, these days, a modern 2WD has some significant advantages over a 4WD – especially when it comes to the Dakar: “Two-wheel-drive cars can run at a significantly lower weight. Also, these machine are allowed to use bigger wheels, which goes well with obstacles," explains Tech Manager Jean-Christophe Pallier. "The wheel size also allows us to minimise the front overhang.

"The suspension benefits from increased ground clearance: it runs at almost 400mm, as opposed to 250mm, which gives us a much greater capacity to get past any obstacles in our path.” And, finally, homologation allows the co-driver to adjust the tyre-pressures at will from inside the cockpit.

The Peugeot 2008 DKR will be mid-engined and the power unit (not to be confused with the F1 PUs) will be a 340bhp V6 twin-turbo diesel. The car is shorter and squatter than previous Red Bull-liveried Dakar cars, which made it quite difficult to fit all the vital assemblies on such small frame. But the great advantage of such a small car, for the Dakar standard, is that it’ll be great over twisty terrain.

Now, the only thing left is to unleash the beast for the drivers to tame!

Peugeot 2008 DKR Technical Specifications


Type V6 bi-turbo
Cubic capacity 3.2 litres
Number of valves 24
Position Mid-rear
Number of cylinders V6 (‘vee’ angle = 60°)
Maximum power 340hp
Maximum torque 60mkg
Maximum revs 7,800rpm
Top speed 200kph


Type Two-wheel drive
Gearbox Longitudinally mounted six-speed manual sequential gearbox


Type Tubular steel
Bodywork Carbon

Suspensions / Brakes / Steering

Suspension Double wishbones
Springs Coil springs (two per wheel)
Dampers Adjustable (two per wheel)
Anti-roll bars Front and rear
Steering Hydraulic power steering
Brakes Hydraulic dual circuit, one-piece light alloy callipers
Discs Front Vented discs 355mm (diameter)
Discs Rear Vented discs 355mm (diameter)
Wheels Aluminium two-piece wheels
Tyres Michelin 37/12,5x17


Length 4,099mm
Width 2,033mm
Height 1,912mm
Front overhang 641mm
Rear overhang 658mm
Wheelbase 2,800mm
Fuel tank capacity 400 litres
Weight 1,280kg


Want to experience the best of on the move? Get the app at

read more about
Next Story