Peugeot’s New 3008 Dakar Race Truck Takes No Prisoners

Talk about a title defense...

Peugeot

In the realm of off-road racing, the Dakar Rally is about as savage as it gets. Once a grueling trek from France to Senegal, the month-long enduro now runs through South America, deserts and mountains, bustling towns and desolate basins. Peugeot, a titanic force at Dakar during the 1980s before withdrawing in 1990, returned to the rally two years ago; last year, its 2008 DKR race truck took first place overall. But you won’t catch the French company resting on its laurels: Team Peugeot Total has unveiled an overhauled rig for Dakar 2017 at the Paris Motor Show.

This machine, dubbed 3008 DKR, is all-new. The chassis is a tube-frame job, riding high on double wishbones front and rear, two dampers per wheel, allowing 18 inches of suspension travel. Like the 2008 DKR, this truck is two-wheel-drive, power running to the rear axle via six-speed sequential gearbox. And Peugeot has worked over the rear-mounted 3.0-liter twin-turbo diesel V6 to comply with new Dakar regulations. That means a smaller restrictor (38mm versus last year’s 39mm piece), resulting in a net horsepower loss, down to about 340 hp. The upside is a lower, more usable powerband, and more torque, around 600 lb-ft. Top speed is a claimed 124 mph.

Peugeot adds that one of the biggest improvements is something you won’t ever see: Air conditioning. The team registered cockpit temps in excess of 140 degrees Fahrenheit last year, and have totally revised the system to keep that from happening again. Enjoying the cooler interior will be Stéphane Peterhansel, Carlos Sainz, Sébastien Loeb, and Cyril Despres. If you don’t know those guys, Google 'em. Because that, kids, is a seriously boss roster of drivers.

Keep an eye out for the 3008 DKR mounting a title defense at Dakar 2017 in January. In the meantime, Peugeot has given us this grimy two-minute teaser.