I had a good chunk of my childhood in Colorado Springs. For those of you who don’t know, it sits below Pikes Peak.Here’s a shot with Garden of the Gods in the foreground.

Being able to look at Pikes Peak every day, it holds a pretty special place in my heart. So I have decided to add a new genre to my collection. Hill Climb cars - specifically - ones that tackled Pikes Peak.

I had to go for one of the most special ones as my first large scale one (I have many iterations of the Hot Wheels Pikes Peak Celica and Tacoma driven by Rod Millen). I also got a French car, which is something my collection is also sorely lacking. Enter the 2013 Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak.

This is a 1:18 from AutoArt and is one of their composite cars. The doors do open if you can find a way to get something in the tiny gap to open it, but that’s it. At least the wheels turn and spin as well. This is a hardcore racer so I’m not surprised the back/front don’t come off.

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A little background on why this car is so important to the mountain. It raced the 2nd year that the course was fully paved (I remember driving up to the top as a kid and a huge section was dirt), which meant cars could go faster. The 10 minute mark had only been broken the last year that it was a mix of asphalt/dirt which was in 2011. Granted by that time a small amount was dirt only.

Well here’s a video of this car’s run, with Sebastien Loeb guiding the car.

Yeah, he CRUSHED the record. Everyone’s been talking about how the IDR crushed Loeb’s record, but I’m sorry, beating it by 16 seconds is not the same as beating the record by over a minute and a half. Plus it seems Loeb could have actually done better, he wasn’t truly on the limit for most of this race.

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Now I do believe that electric cars will continue to dominate Pikes Peak as the years go on. Remember that the starting line is at 9430 ft. The finish line is at 14,150. That’s a lot of elevation gain even when you’re already starting high. Naturally aspirated cars lose 30% of their power by the time they’re at the top. Turbos help dramatically, but if your power source doesn’t require combustion, you have another leg-up.

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That’s why I think this car is so important. I really don’t think any other ICE car will beat Loeb’s record. Barring someone bringing an F1 car, there’s just no way that I can see it being done. Even the ICE cars that have won their class/race since haven’t been able to get close.

And a lot of it has to do with power/weight. You have to be able to blast out of the corners, and this course has many. You know how the Koenigsegg One:1 was such a big deal? 1kg per 1hp? This car is the same. Except it’s only moving 857kg. It has twice the power/weight of a Bugatti Veyron. 0-60 is 1.8 seconds. 0-150 is 7 seconds. This car may have a very cute and happy face, but it’s a monster.

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My attempt to get a detailed shot of the engine bay. As you can see it’s very focused in its mission. Ignore the dust...

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If you keep up with WEC, you’d know that the Peugeot 908 HDi had recently retired from racing. So this car decided to borrow it’s massive wing and the running gear from the LeMans winner. As you can see above, the roll cage is quite impressive. Remember that if you have an off, you could potentially fall 1000ft or more... it’s a deadly race.

This model has some nice details even if the car itself is rather sparse due to being a race-focused machine. Now Loeb did take this car to other hill climbs as well. He was able to break the top 10 at Goodwood as well.

He is currently at 7th place at goodwood. Of course the IDR pushed him down a spot this year beating him by almost a second.

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More details on the model.

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WING. Sorry it’s a bit blurry... can happen with such a long exposure time :/

Peugeot has a good history with rally and even with Pikes Peak. The last time Peugeot won on the mountain was 1989, with 1988 their 405 Pikes Peak car setting a course record as well. That one had a lot more dirt...

So Peugeot came back with this monster and shocked the world. Of course the IDR would come 5 years later with Romain Dumas behind the wheel and do the same. As an aside, Dumas has won 4 of the last 5 Pikes Peak Hillclimbs overall... exciting to see what will happen this year.

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So yeah! The Peugeot 206 T16 Pikes Peak. A legendary hillclimb car that will probably retain its spot as best ICE car up the mountain. It set the bar for what can be achieved there and did it happily ;)

I’ll have to see what the grid is like this year, but I’m seriously considering going to the hillclimb this year again if anyone wants to join. Luckily I can drive a couple hours haha. Also expect to see more PPIHC cars from me this year. Luckily Spark is making a 1:43 IDR soon.

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As for this 1:18 AutoArt, well it’s as good as you expect an AutoArt to be. It’s definitely lighter, being a composite car, but it still feels well-made. The doors are annoying as you have to get something tiny to pry it open, a fingernail won’t work. I started chipping at the paint trying to open the door unfortunately. The tampos/paint are very well done.

Cheers! Here’s a final video of Loeb having taken his car home to France to do an exhibition run up Turckheim. I have a feeling he owns this car now since the Peugeot graphics are now missing...