Ten years after its last participation, the French manufacturer Peugeot announced its return for 2022 with a new car registered in the first category of supercars.
Code name: 9X8. A nod to my two Peugeot endurance experiences, 905s that raced at Le Mans between 1990 and 1993, and 907s between 2007 and 2011.
The new Peugeot prototype displays bold and innovative aerodynamic curves, far from the usual standards of racing cars found on endurance circuits in recent years.
The French factory has realized the spirit of change that the organizers of the World Endurance Championship initiated last year
In partnership with ACO, Automobile Club de l’Ouest, organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the design criteria for the first category have been completely revised. Gone are the LMP1s (diesel then hybrids), and while hydrogen-powered race cars wait, welcome to hypercars.
With the 9X8, Peugeot is spreading a true brand project around the new performance concept, combining absolute sportiness and technological knowledge transferable to production models, efficiency and stylistic excellence.
New regulations give manufacturers more flexibility in handling aerodynamic surfaces. For the occasion, Peugeot Sport engineers gave way to the designers to design the sleek body of this 9X8, which is distinguished by the absence of a rear spoiler.
The new regulations are designed so that all classic performance vectors are flattened. It’s exciting because it’s up to us to innovate, innovate and find opportunities to generate performance outside of traditional patterns, Olivier Jansoni, Technical Director of the WEC Program at PEUGEOT Sport explains, Regulations allow us to have one adjustable aerodynamic element, without specifying that it should be the rear spoiler. Our calculations and simulations showed that we can perform well without a rear wing.
Like its competitors in this supercar class, the 9X8 will be based on a hybrid electric/petrol engine. For the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2022, scheduled except for changes on June 11 and 12, the Lion brand will have to compete with class title holders, Japanese manufacturer Toyota and independent teams ByKolles and Glickenhaus.
—Peugeot (@Peugeot) January 18 2022
And for 2023, the list of contenders for supercars is getting longer and longer: Audi, Porsche and Ferrari have announced their return to endurance. BMW, Acura and Cadillac will also develop their prototypes for next year. As for the French from the Alps, they hope to enter the 2023 World Championships.