Motorcycling Legend To Drive In Peugeot's Off-Road Return To Dakar

Peugeot has announced its "lion will roar again" at the 2015 Dakar Rally, when the French automaker is throwing its beret in the epic off-road race for the first time since 1990 with a new car and legendary motorcycle racer Cyril Despres at the wheel.

Motorcycling Legend To Drive In Peugeot's Off-Road Return To Dakar

Though this will be Despres' first-ever Dakar effort on four wheels, he's won the race five times with various motorcycle. Two-time Rally World Champion and 2010 Dakar winner Carlos Sainz will join him in the cockpit of whatever Peugeot cooks up for next year's race.

Motorcycling Legend To Drive In Peugeot's Off-Road Return To Dakar

You might be more inclined to recognize Sainz by his old vehicle; that insane Red Bull buggy that keeps looking really cool right up until it crashes.

Motorcycling Legend To Drive In Peugeot's Off-Road Return To Dakar

Peugeot went out on a high note twenty four years ago, with Ari Vatanen bringing them the win in a 405 T16. In fact that was the end of a Dakar hot streak for Peugeot— they won the race in the three preceding years as well.

Check out an excerpt of Peugeot's 1990 race effort here. The scene was a little different a few decades ago; the race actually went to Dakar and banjos were the preferred motor sports soundtrack.

Peugeot's "teaser" video for their new competition car is decidedly lacking in banjo accompaniment and doesn't reveal much, but at least we can tell they're not running a truck.

Despres is nothing short of a legend in off-road motorcycle racing, and it'll be really exciting to see if his talents can translate over to cars. It seems fitting that Peugeot would pick a Frenchman to champion their return to this type of rally racing, and it's great that they're giving spectators the opportunity to see a whole new side of Despres.

Motorcycling Legend To Drive In Peugeot's Off-Road Return To Dakar