Peugeot 2008 DKR: The radical Dakar racer

15 Apr, 2014 3:39pm Jonathan Burn

Peugeot reveals the 2008 DKR racer, its first competing car in the Dakar Rally for 25 years

After a 25-year absence, Peugeot will return to the Dakar rally with the Peugeot 2008 DKR. It bares resemblance to the road-going crossover with which it shares part of its name but with dramatically increased proportions and comprehensive mechanical upgrades, little else is carried over.

Instead of taking a 2008 shell and grafting on bespoke parts, Peugeot decided to start from scratch and add on only a few features borrowed from the 2008 crossover. The 2008 DKR has a more coupe-inspired design and does away with the rear doors. The short overhangs will also allow for steeper approach angles.

Unlike the majority of its competitors the 2008 DKR uses a rear-wheel drive setup, which Peugeot claims to allow them to fit larger wheels and increase the suspension travel. The Dakar racer rides on 37-inch tyres.

The reveal follows the news that Peugeot has teamed up with Red Bull and Total to compete in the 2015 Dakar rally, but the French manufacturer is remaining tight lipped about what lies beneath the angular bodywork.

The 2015 Dakar rally begins in Argentina on 3 January with drivers then making their way through Chile and Bolivia before completing the 9,000km race 16 days later.