Noted for its lack of a rear wing, the 9X8 Hypercar embodies Peugeot’s return to endurance racing and to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2022.
Peugeot’s return to the World Endurance Championship (WEC) has just reached a significant milestone. This Tuesday, July 6, the manufacturer with the lion, triple winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, lifted the veil on the machine materializing his return to the top of the discipline, from season 2022. This competition car, unveiled in the form of a prototype, responds to the surname of Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar. Naturally, this is a new generation racing car, since it integrates the premier class recently created under the “Hypercar” label. Last December, the Sochaux brand disclosed the structure of its hybrid traction chain, namely the combination of a twin-turbo V6 developing 500 kW, or 680 horsepower, and an electric motor / generator with a power of 200 kW, or 272 equines.
Reference to the victorious past
According to Peugeot, the name 9X8 Hypercar represents a projection towards the future while referring to the victorious past of the brand in Sarthe. For the record, the lion builder first won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1992 and 1993 thanks to the 905. Almost two decades later, he had interfered in the fierce domination of Audi by winning a third victory, in 2009. It is even a double which had been accomplished thanks to 908 HDi FAP of the Brabham-Gené-Wurz and Montagny-Bourdais-Sarrazin trios.
4-wheel drive and hybridization
In the name 9X8, the letter X is a clear reference to 4-wheel drive and hybridization technologies that the Peugeot Hypercar has. As a reminder, the V6 biturbo with a displacement of 2.6 liters open at 90 ° is responsible for driving the rear wheels, while the electric unit takes place on the front axle. An essential point of the new regulations, the maximum power during the race cannot exceed 680 horsepower. The all-wheel drive is operated by means of a 7-speed sequential gearbox. Peugeot Sport indicates that this V6 is following its roadmap by accumulating the kilometers on the bench since April.
“No need for a rear spoiler”
Taking advantage of the new Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) regulations, the Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar is noted for its lack of rear spoiler. Instead, chiseled elements accommodate the three luminous claws of the lights, which frame a large diffuser, topped with an inscription tinged with humor: « We need no rear wing » (We don’t need a rear spoiler). “This lack of a rear wing on the Peugeot 9X8 is a major innovation marker, entrusts Jean-Marc Finot, Director of Stellantis Motorsport. We reach a level of technical efficiency, in aerodynamics, which allows us to do without this artifice. But how, despite all beliefs and habits, this absence is dictated by the search for performance, we will keep it a secret as long as possible ! »
Return to WEC and Le Mans in 2022
Peugeot’s return to the World Endurance Championship (WEC) will be effective from next year. The brand confirms that two 9X8 Hypercars will line up on the grid in 2022 with the highlight being a participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, of course, although the detailed schedule has not yet been defined. The seven pilots committed to this program, in force until at least 2025, are the French Loïc Duval and Jean-Eric Vergne, the Danes Mikkel Jensen and Kevin Magnussen, the Scotsman Paul di Resta, the Englishman James Rossiter and the American Gustavo Menezes.
More Endurance info:
24 hours of Le Mans: why Peugeot chooses a 680 hp twin-turbo V6 for its hybrid hypercar
WEC 2021 calendar: dates and times of the races of the endurance world championship
Why Audi is coming back to the 24h of Le Mans and the Dakar?