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PostHeaderIcon Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi

Mid-mounted twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 diesel

This coming January, lovers of dirt-flavored racing will once again turn their attention to the Southern Hemisphere as the infamous Dakar Rally hits South America for the tenth year running. 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the event, once again promising a grueling 10,000 km (6,214 miles) of racing over some of the most difficult terrain Mother Nature can produce. The outlined route will lead teams through Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina, challenging competitors with steep sand dunes, craggy boulder fields, twisting tarmac, and impossibly high mountain passes. This is one of the ultimate tests of man and machine, but Peugeot looks ready for anything. The French automaker took top honors in the Dakar earlier last year, giving it back-to-back victories between 2016 and 2017. Now, the French automaker is looking for a three-peat with this – the updated 3008 DKR Maxi. The “brand-new racing lion” might carry the same name as the road-going Peugeot 3008, but it’s far removed from what you get in dealers, bringing the heat thanks to a host of impressive motorsport cues courtesy of Peugeot Sport, all aimed at ultimate victory over terra firma.

The Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi has undergone extensive testing in Morocco, Portugal, and France to prepare for the 2018 Dakar event, logging more than 18,000 test km (11,185 miles) over the past year. What’s more, Team Peugeot Total has once again assembled a dream team of talent for the driver’s roster, including names like Peterhansel, Loeb, Sainz, and Despres. Still – the Dakar is unpredictable at best. Will the new 3008 DKR once again have what it takes to snag another win?

Continue reading to learn more about the Peugeot 3008 DKR.

Exterior

  • Bespoke performance design
  • Massive underbody protection
  • Carbon composite exterior panels
  • Magnesium single-piece wheels
  • Plenty of vents and cooling pieces

2018 Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi - image 755418

No doubt about it, the Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi is a beastly machine. Really the only similarities we see between this pure-bred off-road monster and the compact crossover that gave it its name is the headlight design. The rest of it is unadulterated performance.

Up front, we find a fascia that’s slim and wide, stretched from corner to corner to accommodate an extremely wide track and cut high to allow the vehicle to smash up and down steep inclines without a moment’s hesitation. The underbody protection is massive, with thick metal plates installed to ward off any persistent chunks of nature and keep vital mechanical bits intact. Prominent vents in the nose aid in airflow, while the sizable fender flares are done in bare carbon fiber.


2018 Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi - image 755415
“The majority of the 3008 DKR's exterior is made from carbon and composites, keeping it as lightweight as possible despite the burly protective metal plating, huge suspension, and meaty tire and wheel package.”

Indeed, the majority of the 3008 DKR’s exterior is made from carbon and composites, keeping it as lightweight as possible despite the burly protective metal plating, huge suspension, and meaty tire and wheel package. Speaking of the rollers, the knobby rubber you see in the corners is attached to wheels carved from a single piece of magnesium, with the final sizing measured at 8.5 inches for the width and 17 inches for the diameter. When viewed in profile, we see the 3008 DKR’s Red Bull livery in its full glory, complemented by a highly raked windshield, a slim intake on the roof, and large intakes just above and ahead of the rear fenders. The overall body shape appears squat and flat, with broad body panels encompassing a plumped-up rear end. The stance is tall, very tall in fact, but the impressive track width keeps it looking stable, even when flying sideways at maximum attack. The cabin and engine compartment are also centrally placed, helping to give this racer its optimum weight distribution.

In back, the Peugeot 3008 DKR is all fins, with row upon row of louvers in place to help dispel hot air from the mid-mounted powerplant. This view also gives us a decent look at the rear diff and suspension components, which are laid bare under thin strips of carbon body components. From this angle, the 3008 DKR’s shell-like exterior is plain to see.

Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi Exterior Dimensions

Height 1,799 mm (70.8 inches)
Length 4,312 mm (169.8 inches)
Width 2,400 mm (94.5 inches)
Front Overhang 623 mm (24.5 inches)
Rear Overhang 689 mm (27.1 inches)
Wheelbase 3,000 mm (118.1 inches)

Interior

  • Carbon cockpit
  • Digital readouts everywhere
  • Tons of buttons, knobs, and switches
  • Fixed-back carbon seats for driver and co-driver
  • Netting on the door panels for quick storage
  • Alcantara for the steering wheel
  • Spare parts and tools to keep it in the running

2018 Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi - image 699981
“Step inside the Peugeot 3008 DKR, and you'll find yourself stuffed into carbon cockpit laden with switches, knobs, buttons, and digital readouts”

Step inside the Peugeot 3008 DKR, and you’ll find yourself stuffed into carbon cockpit laden with switches, knobs, buttons, and digital readouts. As you can probably imagine, this thing is stripped down to the absolute bare-bones essentials, but when it comes to a race as demanding as the Dakar, that actually includes quite a lot. For example, a few spare tires and a decent toolset are included to keep the machine running should something break while traversing the wilds.

Drivers sit in the left-hand position, gripping an Alcantara-clad steering wheel with a quick-release hub and yellow top-center mark. Behind the wheel is a small screen to display the current selected gear and basics like road speed. Complementary screens are located the the left of the wheel and to the right in the center console. Bare carbon is used for just about everything here, including the seats, which are fixed-back buckets mounted low in the cabin. Netting was added to the inside of the doors to give the driver and co-driver a quick and easy storage spot, while two tall levers for the gear shift and handbrake are within easy reach from the driver’s seat.


2018 Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi - image 699971
“The control scheme is complicated, looking more like what you get in a jet aircraft than a car.”

The control scheme is complicated, looking more like what you get in a jet aircraft than a car. All of it’s necessary though, because when you’re charging through the stages (some of which are several hundreds of miles in length, by the way), you’ll need quick access to any and all systems to tweak and tune for top performance potential.

Drivetrain

  • RWD rather than AWD
  • Mid-mounted twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 diesel
  • 340 horsepower
  • 590 pound-feet of torque
  • 124- mph top speed
  • Six-speed sequential gearbox
  • Almost 106 gallons of fuel on board

2018 Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi - image 699999
“In the middle of the machine, the 3008 DKR gets a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine for motivation.”

Considering this is a bad ass off-roader we’re talking about, it may come as a surprise that the Peugeot 3008 DKR isn’t 4WD, but rather RWD. Yep, just two driven wheels here, which actually comes with its own advantages in the Dakar rulebook, including a smaller number for the all-important minimum weight requirements (two-wheel drive cars can be lighter due to their reduced traction capabilities).

In the middle of the machine, the 3008 DKR gets a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine for motivation. The cylinders are set at a 60-degree angle, while the engine is mounted longitudinally. Standout features include four valves per cylinder, dual overhead cams, and direct fuel injection, as well as a tiny 38 mm (1.5-inch) restrictor plate to keep power levels in check.


2018 Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi - image 699963
“Peak output is rated at 340 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque.”

Put it all together, and peak output is rated at 340 horsepower and 800 Nm (590 pound-feet) of torque, calculating out to roughly 114 horsepower per liter. Redline is set at 5,000 rpm. All that go is sent to the rear axle by way of a six-speed sequential gearbox.

Top speed for the Peugeot 3008 DKR is rated at 200 kph, or 124 mph, which might not seem all that fast. Still, that’s 200 kph over just about any kind of terrain imaginable, so yeah – it’s quick.

In preparation for the 2018 event, the 3008 DKR comes with new front and rear track rods, as well as new driveshafts, both of which help to accommodate the new vehicle’s wider track.

Finally, there’s a mammoth 400-liter (105.7-gallon) fuel tank to supply the oil burner with go juice.

Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi Engine, Drivetrain, And Performance Specs

Engine twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 diesel
Drivetrain Layout mid-mounted, RWD
Horsepower 340 hp
Torque 590 pound-feet
Transmission Six-speed sequential
Redline 5,000 rpm
Top Speed 124 mph

Chassis And Handling

  • Custom tubular space frame chassis
  • 20 mm wider track for straight-line stability
  • Wishbone suspension front and back
  • Over 18 inches of suspension travel
  • 14-inch brake discs

2018 Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi - image 699979
“With the wider track, the 3008 DKR's suspension was enhanced to help make the most of the more planted stance. It also offers an incredible 18.1 inches of suspension travel.”

Underneath all those burly-looking composite body panels, the Peugeot 3008 DKR uses a custom tubular space frame chassis made from steel for superlative strength. As previously mentioned, the racer’s track was widened this year, with an extra 10 cm added to both the left and right for an extra 20 mm total. The end result is more confidence when traveling at high speeds, although the tradeoff can be felt with muddier low-speed maneuvers. Team driver Sebastien Loeb had this to say –

“I think the car is much more stable now that it is wider, and so it feels a bit different to drive. In the very narrow and technical parts that does mean it’s more cumbersome of course, but in terms of stability and driving it’s definitely a step forward. The car has less of a tendency to roll its suspension now, so that gives you more confidence to attack and get it sideways. I’d say the strongest point of the Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi is the off-road ability it has. With its wide track and wheels, it can go more or less anywhere. It’s maybe not so agile on stage-type roads: that’s more the territory of four-wheel drive cars. But the advantage of our car is the fact that it can tackle anything, especially in the dunes.”


2018 Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi - image 699973

With the wider track, the 3008 DKR’s suspension was enhanced to help make the most of the more planted stance. That includes new upper and lower wishbones both front and back. Both ends also
come with coil springs, twin dampers, and anti-roll bars. What’s more, the 3008 DKR offers an incredible 460 mm (18.1 inches) of suspension travel.

A hydraulic power steering system helps it all turn, while the brakes are ventilated discs with a 355 mm
(14-inch) diameter at both ends, plus sizable four-piston calipers. Finally, the tires are measured at a substantial 37 inches by 12.5 inches and come courtesy of by BF Goodrich.

Competition

Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy


2018 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy - image 747080

Prior to Peugeot’s success between 2016 and 2017, Mini was on a roll at the Dakar, collecting a series back-to-back wins between 2012 and 2015. Now, Mini is once again in the hunt for victory, and it’s bringing an updated iteration of its championship-winning AWD Mini John Cooper Works Rally to the fight. In addition, Mini is looking to beat Peugeot at its own game with the new RWD Mini JCW Buggy. Indeed, the British brand isn’t messing around, committing a full seven vehicles to the 2018 effort. But will it be enough to halt the momentum of the 3008 DKR?

Read our full review on the 2018 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy.

Conclusion


2018 Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi - image 699976
“All told, Peugeot has a lot going for it, but still – the Dakar is no ordinary race.”

Peugeot has already announced that 2018 will be the final year it participates in the Dakar Rally, citing a dispute over recent rule changes as motivation for the exit. However, it’s more than obvious the automaker wants to go out on a high note, as a third back-to-back win would help cement its position as one of the Dakar’s most dominant brands.

To help it secure that coveted top podium spot, the team roster in 2018 goes unchanged, including last year’s winner Stephane Peterhansel with co-driver Jean Paul Cottret. Nine-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb will also rejoin the effort alongside co-driver Daniel Elena, as will two-time WRC champion and previous Dakar winner Carlos Sainz with co-driver Lucas Cruz. Rounding it out will be five-time Dakar Motorbike champion Cyril Despres and co-driver David Castera.

With a lineup like that, the Peugeot crews boast 19 individual Dakar victories and 148 stage wins (when taking into account both four- and two-wheeled entries). As a brand, Peugeot has six Dakar Rally titles to its name, the first of which it snagged in 1987 thanks to the 205 T16 Grand Raid, and a win in 2018 would do well to pad its motorsport resume even further.

All told, Peugeot has a lot going for it, but still – the Dakar is no ordinary race.

“The modifications we have made resulting in the 3008 DKR Maxi have proved to be effective up to now, but the Dakar remains a question mark, thanks to the sheer variety of terrain and challenges to overcome, while the recent Rallye du Maroc reminded us once again that our rivals are extremely strong,” said Peugeot Sport Director Bruno Famin.

Indeed – weather, variable terrain, even an errant rock chip could spell DNF for any one of Peugeot’s entries. That said, the brand is giving its team every possible advantage, and we’ll just have to wait and see if it pays off.

The 40th Dakar Rally will take place between January 6th and 20th. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for more.

  • Leave it
    • * Strong competition from every side, especially from Mini
    • * Unpredictable racing conditions
    • * One of the toughest events in the world
    • * RWD might prove a hindrance on certain stages

References

Peugeot 3008


2017 Peugeot 3008 - image 676814

Read our full review on the 2017 Peugeot 3008.


maker logos - image 752299

Read more Peugeot news.

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