Motorsport time: Peugeot introduces 2016 Dakar car and McLaren previews the future with the MP4-X prototype [gallery+video] image

Today is a good day to be a motorsport fan because we have two very interesting vehicles on display: the feisty Dakar competitor from Peugeot and McLaren’s vision of the future of racetrack racing.

First things first, we should start with the present – represented by the PSA racer, which is scheduled to start its life during the 2016 Dakar rally adventure. What we have here is the 2016 model year of the 2008 DKR which has been clad in its new Red Bull livery and anxiously awaiting to make its debut on the scene of the 38th Dakar Rally. Peugeot Sport has adorned the 2008 in the fresh Red Bull livery and, comes, as always with a massively modified body: widened by 167 mm (now at 2200 mm), lowered by 118 mm (at 1794 mm), the length has grown to 4284 mm by a total of 185 mm. Meanwhile, the front and rear overhangs are actually shorter, as the length increase is mostly reflected in the wheelbase, which has grown to 3000 mm by a full 200 mm to ensure increased stability. Inside breaths fire the updated V6 3.2-liter bi-turbodiesel engine delivering 350 bhp (261 kW) and 800 Nm (591 lb-ft), which has gained 10 bhp (7 kW) and 212 Nm (157 lb-ft). The 2008 DKR is a two-wheel drive model, which is assisted by the longitudinally-mounted six-speed manual sequential gearbox. Sébastien Loeb, Stéphane Peterhansel, Cyril Despres, and Carlos Sainz are the pilots that will commend the updated Dakar fighter.

Up next is a different animal altogether, with the MP4-X being a racecar concept (ok, we can argue with that, since every single racecar used in F1 for example is in itself a concept car) representing the British company’s “conceptual vision for the future of motorsport technology.” This means the race track prototype, which also looks very well equipped to star in the Batman franchise, has adopted a futuristic design that doesn’t take into account current regulations – it has an enclosed cockpit and active aerodynamic body elements. Inside the cockpit the race driver is aided by a heads-up display and McLaren even says all the technology used to deliver this prototype is real, although still at the roots of the development phase. “With the futuristic McLaren MP4-X concept racecar, we wanted to peer into the future and imagine the art of the possible,” comments John Allert, group brand director at McLaren Technology Group.