With the 2013 Pikes Peak Hill Climb race drawing closer to its June 30 start, one of the race\'s contenders in the Ultimate Class, nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb, has finally had the opportunity to drive the specially built Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak car he\'ll be running in the race.
\"The 208 T16 Pikes Peak is a rocket,\" said Loeb after his shakedown of the car. \"It’s so powerful! The first time you drive it, each gear change practically stuns you. The shifts are really brutal, and it takes a little time to anticipate the sudden jarring. You get used to it, but it was quite disorienting to begin with.\"
Loeb praised the car\'s four-wheel-drive transmission and turbocharged engine, since it goes up to sixth gear at 241kph \"in no time at all.\" Its 0-100kph time of 1.8 seconds means it accelerates faster than an F1 car. The Frenchman was also amazed by the car\'s aerodynamic downforce, comparing it with that of an F1 car. Loeb also pointed out that the wide tires are like those of an endurance racing prototype, while the differential reminded him of that of a WRC car.
\"I have driven many types of car in my career, but this is very, very different,\" added Loeb. \"Its acceleration, performance and stopping power are more like those of a Formula 1 single-seater than a rally car. Its handling is fantastic as well: There\'s so much grip, and the all-wheel-drive transmission makes it very stable. It\'s got huge potential. I really can\'t wait to get to drive the 208 T16 Pikes Peak in Colorado.\"
If you\'re viewing this on a mobile device and can\'t see the video, please click here.