Less than a year on from the presentation that publicly launched the concept behind the PEUGEOT 9X8, and just five months after the car’s maiden track test, Team Peugeot TotalEnergies today unveiled its exciting new endurance racing challenger : The PEUGEOT 9X8 . The pioneering four wheel-drive, hybrid-electric Hypercar is poised to make its competitive debut in July at Round 4 of the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) at Monza, Italy. For PEUGEOT, the countdown is well and truly on.
Striking designs, a passion for motorsport and technological excellence are effectively the three PEUGEOT values that guided this ambitious programme which marks the brand’s return to endurance racing, with a particular focus on the Le Mans 24 Hours, an extraordinary event that has few rivals when it comes to evaluating and validating innovative ideas and technologies.
A new era is about to begin for PEUGEOT in the world of endurance racing. Following in the wheel-tracks of its Le Mans-conquering 905 and 908 predecessors, the French manufacturer’s latest creation – the PEUGEOT 9X8 – will bring an unprecedented design philosophy to the FIA WEC grid.
This ground-breaking Hypercar, which catches the eye at once due to the absence of a rear wing [conforms to the regulations that govern the ACO and FIA’s Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) category], it is the perfect embodiment of PEUGEOT’s strategy, with a distinctive look characterised by a cat-like stance, uniquely sleek silhouette, forceful brand identity and the same familiar three-claw lighting signature as the manufacturer’s road-going models. As a shop window for PEUGEOT’s technological expertise in the fields of hybridisation and electrification – both key elements of the brand’s energy transition strategy –, it underscores the company’s commitment to excellence with regard to both its competitive endeavours and its customers.
The build-up to a stimulating sporting and technological challenge
The PEUGEOT 9X8 is a four wheel-drive racing prototype with a powertrain developed under the control of Peugeot Sport’s specialists.
Its rear wheels are driven by a 2.6-litre, bi-turbo, 520kW, V6 internal-combustion engine (ICE), while a bespoke, high-performance 200kW electric motor drives the front wheels.
Like the motor, the silicon carbide-based inverter was developed in association with Marelli. The car’s high-voltage, 900-volt battery was developed jointly with TotalEnergies/Saft and Michelin provides the tyres in compliance with the Hypercar class’s regulations.
The PEUGEOT 9X8 features athletic forms and measures :
4.995 metres in length,
sits 2 metres wide and
1.145 metres tall.
It tips the scales at just 1,030kg and its tank holds up to 90 litres of TotalEnergies’ 100% renewable, Excellium Racing 100 fuel.
The unique collaboration between the PEUGEOT Design team led by Matthias Hossann and the Sport team under Olivier Jansonnie has resulted in a bold, stylish car that truly breaks the mould.
During the presentation of the car that revealed the PEUGEOT 9X8 concept back in July 2021, many speculated that the lack of a rear wing would prove unworkable in reality.
However, the interpretation of the ACO/FIA’s LMH regulations inspired the department led by Peugeot Sport’s Technical Director Olivier Jansonnie to continue along this path.
The on-track tests that have taken place since December at circuits with distinctly different characteristics (Portimão/Portugal, Le Castellet/France, MotorLand Aragón/Spain, Barcelona/Spain, and Magny-Cours/France) have since corroborated this disruptive concept, and the race car unveiled at Portimão ahead of its latest test conforms entirely with the vision embodied by the car presented in 2021.
More than 10,000 kilometres have been clocked up by the PEUGEOT 9X8 over the course of 25 test days.
In parallel, the car’s homologation was administered in conjunction with the FIA, while the team led by Peugeot Sport Powertrain Director François Coudrain focussed on the development of the powertrain on the test bench, simulator and race track.
In order to excel both on and off the race track, Team Peugeot TotalEnergies has joined forces with a number of international partners, all highly-regarded in their respective industries and all instrumental to the development process.
For example, artificial intelligence specialist Capgemini and Peugeot Sport work together to optimise the efficiency of the 9X8 – in particular its energy management during both the acceleration and regeneration phases.
Meanwhile, Peugeot Sport and Modex have pooled their ideas, creativity, technological visions and penchant for innovation to produce mutually-beneficial synergies.
The Iconic Italian racewear manufacturer Sparco supplies the team with essential motorsport safety equipment.
The Danish brand Jack & Jones is behind Team Peugeot TotalEnergies’ official team clothing.
All of these partners are driven to perform at their peak by the same passion for motor racing, innovation and progress.