Team Peugeot-Total has finally unveiled the 2008 DKR, the off-road monster the team will use for the upcoming 2015 Dakar Rally.

The 2008 DKR operates with a two-wheel drive transmission that Peugeot believes will be able to take on the dunes, mountains, dry riverbeds, canyons, salt deserts and rough terrain in sixteen days racing from the Andes regions to Bolivia.

“Much like we did at the Le Mans 24 Hours by electing to run a closed-cockpit car, we decided to adopt an innovative concept.  When it comes to cross-country rallying, the biggest question is whether to run with four-wheel-drive or just two. After a detailed study of the question, we decided to go for two-wheel drive transmission which presents a number of interesting benefits,” said Peugeot Sport Director Bruno Famin.

Success here will make the team the first ever to compete and win the Dakar with two-wheel drive and a diesel engine.

With a smaller two-wheel drive transmission, the 2008 DKR will be lighter and rules allow them to use bigger wheels, which can accommodate a system that adjusts tire pressure from inside the vehicle plus the vehicle design allows for minimal front overhang allowing it to climb almost vertical and longer suspension travel at 460mm instead of 250mm making it easier to tackle uneven terrain.

The photo above speaks volumes about the muscle the 2008 DKR packs.  Under the bonnet is a V6 twin-turbo diesel mid-rear engine that puts out 345 PS.

“Given that the production 2008 is a two-wheel-drive crossover equipped with Grip Control technology – which enables it to go just about anywhere – it is only right that the 2008 DKR derivative should similarly take on the challenges of the Dakar with just two-wheel-drive,” added Famin.