For over 210 years ago, Peugeot It has been ahead of the times and anticipated changes in behavior, opening the way to new mobility solutions. As a technological testing ground par excellence, motorsport offers the French brand the perfect opportunity to fully deploy its capacity for innovation and reflects it with the Peugeot 9X8, the Hypercar with which it will try to green in 2022 the laurels achieved in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Peugeot's great adventure in Le Mans and in endurance racing began in the early '90s. It was then that the León returned to the La Sarthe circuit as an official team with the Peugeot 905 inside of the World of Sport Prototypes, now renamed the World Endurance.
With the 905 the brand clearly showed its goal of winning the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. The development program of this Peugeot Sport Prototype It started in December 1988.
Presented in February 1990, the car was a breath of fresh air: innovative, with absolute visual purity and the characteristic front end of the brand's models of that time. Built on a chassis of carbon fiber designed in collaboration with Dassault, featured a V10 engine 3,5 liter 40 valve 650 CV, very close to the levels of the Formula 1.
Peugeot competed with the most common endurance car manufacturers of the event, especially with Porsche y Jaguar, and with emerging aspirants such as Toyota y Mazda.
The Peugeot 905 shone in 1992 allowing the brand to conquer the title among the constructors and also win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the English Derek Warwick y Mark Blundell And French yannick dalmas.
Although the icing on the cake of the project came in 1993 by taking over the podium at Le Mans. The victory was for the Gauls Eric Helary y Christophe bouchut and the australian Geff brabaham. The second place went to the Belgian Thierry Boutsen, Dalmas and the Italian Theo Fabi and third place for the French Philippe Alliot, Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Italian Mauro baldi.
INNOVATION AND TECHNICAL CHALLENGES OF THE PEUGEOT 9X8
After the Peugeot 905, and then the 908 from 2007 to 2011, Peugeot makes a strong return to endurance racing with the 9X8 that is in full swing.
Like the 905 thirty years before, the 9X8 reuses the aesthetic hallmarks of the brand: it is a sleek, slim and elegant car that generates a reaction and embodies speed. The first thing that is appreciated is your front and rear light signature, with the three characteristic claws of the lion. Their sides are elegant and structured. The mirrors are integrated into the chassis, which appears to have no air resistance.
At the rear there is a big diffuser framed by finely chiseled elements that house the drivers, and great detail that underlines the 9X8's most striking innovative feature: It does not have a rear wing!
As for the engine, hybridization has been chosen by combining a 6 kW petrol biturbo V500 (680 hp), which drives the rear wheels, and a electric motor / generator de 200 kW (270 hp), which drives the front wheels. The regulation establishes clear limits for the operation of the system, which allows hybrid cars to circulate with four-wheel drive: it defines the threshold of energy transfer to the front wheels and stipulates that the total average power of the set cannot exceed 550 kW (750 hp).
Hybrid technology is therefore an advantage as it allows the adoption of all-wheel drive, but it is also a huge technical challenge, given the complexity of managing the powertrain.
This is precisely what Peugeot is working on, which is committed to accelerating electrification of its range and is eager to generate ambitious technical developments and win big in competition. Ultimately the 9X8 program should benefit the Leon's future electrified street models.