Peugeot has pulled the covers from its 9X8 hybrid racer, two of which are destined to compete in the FIA’s new Le Mans Hypercar enduro class from 2022.
The French brand announced its plan to enter the new Le Mans Hypercar class (which succeeds the LMP1 headline category and aims to cut costs and demand a degree of homogeneity) in September 2020.
Since then it claims its Versailles factory “has been working feverishly” on the project.
Powering the beast is a rear-mounted 2.6 bi-turbo 90-degree V6 making 500kW of power, plus a seven-speed sequential gearbox, front-mounted 200kW motor-generator unit, single-speed reducer, and 900-volt battery.
Total system output from the all-wheel drive hybrid drivetrain is capped at 500kW, meaning the two power sources don’t operate at the max, simultaneously.
It’s five-metres long, and less than 1.2m tall. The category demands a minimum weight of 1030kg.
The hypercar is billed as a direct successor to the Peugeot 905, winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1992 and 1993, and the Peugeot 908, which won the French classic in 2009.
“The Peugeot 9X8 is a brand-driven project in accordance with its Neo- Performance vision which is founded on combining a premium sporting pedigree with styling excellence, efficiency and technological expertise that can be carried over to road cars,” the company said.
“… Powered by a hybrid power unit which drives through all-wheel drive transmission, this hyper-efficient prototype fits perfectly with Peugeot’s NeoPerformance strategy which is geared to both its road and racing cars delivering responsible performance.
“The work of Peugeot Sport’s engineering team and Peugeot Design dovetailed like never before to produce the 9X8 which heralds a new era in motor racing due to its flowing lines, the absence of a rear wing and the strong brand identity it exudes.
“The innovative technical solutions it packs and its catlike stance stand out as unmistakable Peugeot hallmarks,” it finished.
The company has announced seven drivers including former F1 pilots Paul Di Resta, Kevin Magnussen and Jean-Eric Vergne, alongside James Rossiter, Gustavo Menezes, Mikkel Jensen, and Loïc Duval.
The Peugeot 9X8’s competitors will include the Toyota GR010, pictured above.