Peugeot is set to kick-start asphalt testing of its new R5-specification 208 T16 after more successful running with the car on loose surfaces.

Bryan Bouffier, Craig Breen and Kris Meeke have also spent time at the wheel of the new car during 20 days of gravel testing at various locations in France.

Further gravel testing is planned, although the asphalt phase of the development will shortly get underway as Peugeot works towards customer deliveries later this year - with the aim during testing being to provide a car that is capable of challenging for victory no matter what the surface.

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"The 208 T16 feels very strong," Meeke said. "I still have no idea of its real potential because I have only driven it on the loose so far, but I can tell you that it has the makings of a great car.

"We still need to explore a few ideas and it is very exciting to work on a new project such as this, especially as there is no benchmark because we are working to new regulations. I love it when a project gets to this stage. It is extremely interesting to work on a top car from the start and try to make it a winner!"

Breen agreed that the progress made to date with the new car had been encouraging.

"Our aim is to get as many kilometres on the 208 T16's clock as possible in order to make it the car to beat in the new R5 class," he said. "We are obviously highly motivated. In everybody's minds, the name 'T16' conjures up images of a car that made an indelible mark on the history of the sport, and our aim is to see history repeat itself!

"The car is making the progress you would expect and is improving each time out. I rediscover it and learn more every time I sit in it! I always have a big smile on my face whenever I get behind the wheel."