After Group B was banned for WRC at the end of 1986, most manufacturers turned to rallycross, rally raid, and hill climb events to run their cars. The legendary “Race to the Clouds” at Pikes Peak was the most important venue in hill climb and provided major publicity opportunities.
Peugeot had learned that arch rival Audi was planning to run a special version of the quattro for the 1987 event so they decided to join the fray with a field of three specially prepared cars. Their main gambit was with Ari Vatanen, who brought Peugeot to the forefront of rallying at the end of 1984, but suffered a near fatal crash in the 1985 rally of Argentina which made him miss the entire 1986 rally season. The 1987 Pikes Peak event was his return to real competition.
The three Pikes Peak edition 205 T16s sported a slightly longer wheelbase to improve high speed stability paired with a new added front spoiler. The 6 speed transmission that was used in the latter part of the 1986 WRC season was also implemented. The cars had a claimed 550 BHP for 850 KGs of weight. After the first qualifying sessions, Vatanen felt disappointed that he was about 4 seconds per kilometer slower than Röhrl with the Audi and thought that he had not fully recovered his abilities from his 1985 crash. The Peugeot technicians then had the idea to take spare rear spoilers and stack one on top of the other to add downforce. The improvement was immediate as on the next set of qualifiers Vatanen turned the tables on the Audi and was 4 seconds faster per kilometer than Röhrl.
As such, Peugeot Talbot Sport team leader Jean Todt had high hopes for victory and to stop Audi’s domination of 5 consecutive wins at the event. However, it was not to be as Ari Vatanen’s car suffered from a broken clamp on a turbo hose which resulted in boost pressure issues, and he came 7 seconds behind Walter Röhrl‘s Audi. A small consolation for Peugeot was that all three cars finished the race, resulting in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th positions. One of these cars was subsequently sent to participate in the French Rallycross Championship. The team would return the following year at Pikes Peak with the amazing 405 T16 and that car claimed victory for 1988 and 1989.
|Group/Class||Unlimited||Pikes Peak Special Version|
|Years active||1987||# built: 3|
|Type||XU8T, I-4, DOHC 16v, gas||located middle transverse|
|Output power – torque||550 HP @ 7600 rpm (claimed)||362 lb-ft @ 5500 rpm (claimed)|
|Materials||block: aluminium alloy||cylinder head: aluminium alloy|
||Boost: 43 psi (3.0 bar)|
|Ignition||electronic, firing order 1-3-4-2|
|Lubrication system||dry sump|
|Type||four wheel drive||6 speed gearbox|
|Differential ratio||N/A||spiral bevel gears center epicyclic differential with viscous coupling, hypoid spiral bevel gears limited slip 25% front and 75% rear ZF differentials|
|Clutch||ventilated double plate|
|Chassis / body|
|Type||steel monocoque 20C central frame reinforced with tubular roll cage, steel subframe for front bay & suspension, and tube chassis for rear suspension & engine. 2 door hatchback steel bodyshell with polyester bonnets. Clamshells at front and rear made of polyester, and polyurethane bumpers. Front canard-type + front spoilers, and “double” stacked rear wings.|
|Front suspension||double wishbones with coil spring, bilstein shock absorbers and antiroll bar|
|Rear suspension||double wishbones with coil spring, bilstein shock absorbers and antiroll bar|
|Steering system||rack & pinion (power assisted)||2.5 turns lock to lock|
|Brakes||Front & Rear: ventilated discs 300mm diameter with 4 pot aluminium/magnesium calipers.||dual circuit with servo, adjustable ratio split front to rear|
|length: N/A||width: 1770 mm (69.7 in)||height: N/A|
|wheelbase: N/A||front track: 1430 mm (56.3 in)||rear track: 1430 m (56.3 in)|
|Rims – tires||N/A|
|Dry/Unladen Weight||850 kg (1,875 lb) *claimed||Bias: N/A|
|Weight/power||1.5 kg/HP (3.4 lb/HP)|
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