French manufacturer returns to the world's toughest cross-country rally after 25 years with 2008-based car

Peugeot has confirmed it will compete in the Dakar Rally next year, with a racer based on the 2008 crossover.

The French manufacturer will be taking on the 10,000km route 25 years after it last competed in the event. The entry is being fielded in collaboration with Red Bull and Total, the same combination with which Peugeot Sport used to smash the Pikes Peak Hill Climb record last year with the special 208 T16.

Peugeot won the Dakar Rally for four consecutive years between 1987 and 1990, first with the 205 T16 Grand Raid and later with the 405 T16 Grand Raid.

Piloting the new car will be 2010 Dakar winner Carlos Sainz, alongside new competitor Cyril Despres. In a statement, Sainz said: "In motorsport, you can never take anything for granted. The level of competition on the Dakar today is very high and it’s an event that really isn’t easy to win. We won’t have much time before our first attempt, either, but I feel confident because the team is clearly extremely motivated and we will work hard to try to win."

The Dakar Rally takes place in January of next year. Peugeot says more information about the car will be revealed at the Beijing motor show next month.

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27 March 2014
Just a correction: as your op-ed piece noted Cyril Despres is not a new competitor to the Dakar, only new to the car division. M. Despres is a multi-winning Dakar champion on the motorcycle who is getting to the age that is between retirement and wanting to run the rally again on two-wheels. So, like Dakar legend Stephane Peterhansel, he has made the leap to four-wheels. Here is hoping he soon will repeat the success he has had on two-wheels with the Peugeot.

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