The Peugeot 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar comes without a rear wing and will race in the 2022 season of the WECby Sidd Dhimaan, on LISTEN 06:42
A new Le Mans ‘Hypercar’ class has been added to the World Endurance Championship starting this year. This has led to the introduction of some pretty sweet builds, like the Toyota GR Super Sport and the Glickenhaus 007. Peugeot has also thrown its hat into the ring with a new hypercar called the 9X8. It looks stunning and comes with a hybrid powertrain. Peugeot has announced that the 9X8 will take part in the 2022 season of the event.
2022 Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar
What Powers The Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar?
The Peugeot 9X8 comes with a hybrid drivetrain that includes a 2.6-liter, twin-turbo V-6 engine that makes 671 horses. Power is sent to the rear wheels exclusively via a seven-speed sequential gearbox. Complementing this is an electric motor mounted on the front axle that makes 268 horsepower. It will also provide additional stopping power and power generation.
The combined power output, however, will not exceed 671 horses, in compliance with the FIA rules. So, the electric motor will chip in when the internal combustion engine isn’t producing the full power.
It will be powered by a 900V high-voltage, high-density battery. Peugeot is developing this battery in collaboration with Saft, a subsidiary of TotalEnergies.
|Powertrain||2.6-liter, twin-turbo V-6 + electric motor|
|Gasoline power||671 HP|
|Electric power||268 HP|
|Combined power||671 HP|
|Battery||900V high-voltage, high-density|
How Is The Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar On The Outside?
The 9X8 is finished in a grey shade with contrasting yellow and green elements all around to break the monotony. The French automaker has given fancy names to these colors - Selenium Grey and Kryptonite acid green/yellow. This color scheme is inspired by the 508 and 508 SW.
Up front, it comes with the signature three-claw strokes LED lights along with the new Lion’s Head logo. Doesn’t it look eerily similar to the ‘Stratton Oakmont’ logo from ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’? Anyway, the logo can be seen on the sides as well and is backlit. The rear also features the three-claw lighting along with a massive diffuser.
The wheels also look stunning and mimic the same black-green combo. On the front fenders, the vents even reveal the top of the tires. It looks pretty cool and aids with aerodynamics. The FIA rules also mandate only Michelin tires can be equipped; so there’s that.
As for the dimensions, the Peugeot 9X8 measures 196.9 inches in length, 81.9 inches in width, and 46.5 inches in height. The wheelbase is 119.9 inches long.
The Highlight Of The 9X8 – Wingless Rear!
It’s unusual for such cars to come without a rear wing, but we’re seeing a change in trend this time. The rules and regulations drawn by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) are a little flexible concerning aerodynamics.
The regulations stipulate that only one adjustable aerodynamic device is permitted, but that needn’t necessarily be the rear wing. The hypercar comes without a rear wing. Instead, the downforce duties are taken over by the diffuser and the aerodynamic floor.
Peugeot mentioned that it took the “opportunity to invent new creative processes and break away from established codes to produce a Hypercar of a completely new genre.” It also noted that the calculation and simulations reveal high performance was effectively possible without making use of one.
It Looks Like Peugeot Is More Than Happy To Let Go Off The Rear Wing
The rear is flanked by a wide diffuser that, along with the aerodynamic floor, does the job of generating downforce. It comes with the quip “We didn’t want a rear wing” written above it. The company even went on to say that the rear wings were first seen at the 1967 Le Mans 24 on the Chaparral 2F. Since then, rear wings have been a part of the cars and this is “the first time their use has been questioned in more than half-a-century”.
Stellantis’ Motorsport Director, Jean-Marc FINOT, said, “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!”
How Is The Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar On The Inside?
Peugeot has come up with a fancy interior, too. The interior has always been functional in such cars with no aesthetic appeal, whatsoever. Peugeot has pointed out the same and indicated that it wants to create a brand identity when it comes to the interior, too. The cabin on the 9X8 is as radical as it can get. The green and black color combination in the “i-Cockpit interior” is done on purpose so it is identified as a Peugeot in camera shots. If that’s the purpose, I’d say the automaker has done a fantastic job.
What’s The Logic Behind The Name?
This isn’t a random alpha-numeric name. The top endurance racing cars that Peugeot has produced start with ‘9’, and so does this one. This includes the 9X8’s predecessor, the 905, which won Le Mans 24 Hours in 1992 and 1993, and the 908, which won the French classic in 2009.
The ‘X’ denotes the all-wheel-drive technology, whereas the ‘8’ is in accordance with all its latest models, like the 208, 2008, 308, 3008, 508, and the 5008.
FIA rules mandate that the 20 road-legal variants of the hypercar must be built within two years of its first race. Since the 9X8 will partake in the 2022 event, we will see a street-legal, production-spec iteration of the 9X8 by 2024.
Given how drop-dead gorgeous this beast looks, we can’t wait to see what the street model will look like. We hope Peugeot retains the color combination, the backlit logos, and only tones it down how much is necessary and not one bit more. Are we asking for too much?
Anyhoo, Peugeot will race two 9X8s in the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship. Can it replicate the success of the 905 and the 908? We’ll have to wait and watch.