Peugeot is well-known as a giant slayer in the world of endurance racing. From 2000 to 2014, the French manufacturer was one of the teams that broke Audi's win streak at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
After last competing in 2012, the Lion is back to take on the FIA World Endurance Championship with a radical-looking racecar: The Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar.
Team Peugeot TotalEnergies unveiled the new endurance racing challenger at the Portimao circuit in Portugal. And indeed, true to its previous concept designs, the 9X8 Hypercar will race without a traditional rear wing, and will instead rely on underbody aerodynamics (or in other words, ground effect) to produce downforce.
Thus, when it makes its racing debut in the 6 Hours of Monza in July, we'll be seeing a unique-looking race car, especially since the current Hypercars from Toyota and Glickenhaus doesn't look far-fetched from the previous LMP1 cars.
The 9X8 is an all-wheel-drive hybrid that will race under the LMH class. It has a 700 PS 2.6-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that drives the rear wheels, and a 268 PS electric motor drives the wheels in front. Per LMH rules, the 9X8 measures 4995 mm long, 2000 mm wide, 1145 mm tall, and only weighs 1,030 kg. In addition, the car has a 90-liter fuel tank that runs on Total's Excellium Racing 100 octane fuel.
While it's set for a development season this year, the 2023 edition will be the true test for the 9X8 Hypercar, as not only will it finally compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but it will also take on new rivals like Ferrari in the LMH class, and the LMDh cars from Porsche, BMW, and Cadillac.
Let's see if the no-wing philosophy of the Peugeot 9X8 will pay off. July can't come soon enough.