Following the demise of Group B rallying Peugeot switched their attention to endurance events specifically the Paris-Dakar rally initially competing with the 205T16. This required little modification to cope with the rigours of the discipline, with back to back Paris-Dakar victories in 1987 and 1988. Peugeot also entered a 205T16 in the 1987 Pikes Peak Hill Climb and were on course for a maiden victory before a turbo pipe clip failed handing victory to Walter Rohrl in an Audi Quattro another former Group B rally car.
Whilst being successful the 205 T16’s Rally Raid’s Achilles heel was its relatively short wheelbase, whilst being a nimble car on the world rally stage it proved a nervous twitchy car over the jumps in Dakar and round the long winding corners of Pikes Peak. Peugeot's engineers originally addressed the issue by lengthening the wheelbase of the existing design but this did not do the proportions of the compact 205 any favours. Therefore in 1988 the 405 T16 was unveiled which had the wheelbase extended to improve the handling and also to allow for larger fuel tanks.
This revised chassis was fitted with new Kevlar and carbon-fibre body panels that closely resembled the nose and tail of the 405. Dubbed the 405 T16 Grand Raid, the new Peugeot machine debuted at the 1988 Paris-Dakar rally where it lined up alongside the tried and trusted 205 T16. The car tipped the scales at 880 kg with empty tanks but once carrying its maximum fuel load of 435 litres the weight had increased to 1300 kg. The French team consisted of two 405s and two 205s.
Alongside the Grand Raid, Peugeot also developed a slightly different version of the 405 T16, specifically for the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. It was slightly lower, fitted with massive wings and rear-wheel steer.
This is the car that Ari Vatanen took to a convincing victory on Pikes Peak in 1988 setting a new world record that would remain unbeaten for 6 years and can be seen in the short film 'Climb Dance'. 1989 saw the Peugeot 405 take victory on Pikes Peak again this time with Robby Unser at the wheel.
Engine : four-cylinder, 1.9ltr, in-line, transversally mounted in the rear of the car, twin overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, 600 bhp
Induction : Fuel Injected, Turbocharged