Peugeot Le Mans Hypercar Revealed

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Peugeot’s 2022 World Endurance Championship competitor has finally been revealed in full, without the traditional rear wing.

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Peugeot has fully unveiled its new 9X8 racing car, which will contest the top Hypercar category of the World Endurance Championship (WEC), including the Le Mans 24 Hours, from 2022 onwards.

The 9X8 is a successor to both the 905 of the early ’90s and 908 of the late ’00s, both of which won at Le Mans. Its most notable feature is the absence of a rear wing.

According to technical director Oliver Jansonnie: “The regulations stipulate that only one adjustable aerodynamic device is permitted, without specifying the rear wing. Our calculation work and simulations revealed that high performance was effectively possible without one.”

Peugeot motorsport director Jean-Marc Finot added: “We have achieved a degree of aerodynamic efficiency that allows us to do away with this feature. Don’t ask how, though; we have every intention of keeping that a secret as long as we possibly can!”

Commenting on the car’s distinctive styling, Peugeot design director Matthias Hossan said: “Since the 9X8 is a Peugeot, the original sketch that steered our work portrayed a big cat ready to pounce – a stance that we have suggested by the slightly forward-tilting cockpit. The overall lines express the brand’s styling cues, while its sleek, racy, elegant forms inspire emotion and dynamism.”

An effort was also made to replicate the look of the Peugeot ‘i-Cockpit’ dashboard layout inside the 9X8 – an area of racing cars which until now tended to be purely functional rather than deliberately styled.

Under the bodywork, the 9X8 is powered by a rear-mounted, 2.6-litre, twin-turbo, 500kW petrol V6 engine, combined with a front-mounted 200kW electric motor and a seven-speed sequential gearbox.

Peugeot’s Hypercar driving squad, which was announced in late 2020, consists of Paul di Resta, Loic Duval, Mikkel Jensen, Kevin Magnussen, Gustavo Menezes and Jean-Eric Vergne, with James Rossiter serving as reserve and simulator driver.

Stephen Errity

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