With Peugeot’s LMH program steadily taking shape for 2022, Last Lap writes a technical profile on their 9X8 from the details thus far.
Since September last year (at Le Mans), Peugeot’s intentions on returning to the sportscar discipline have excited fans worldwide ahead of what will be a competitive Hypercar era.
Fast forward to 2021, more details have been revealed on what is the third-confirmed Le Mans Hypercar program (although ByKolles are looking to pursue a 2022 World Endurance Championship campaign with PMC Project LMH).
Peugeot Sport has given details on their vast roster of drivers who are currently working with the French manufacturer on their preparations for 2022; James Rossiter is situated as their reserve and simulator driver.
Additionally, the details on the powertrain have been unveiled, with a petrol/electric hybrid infrastructure at the heart.
Despite the fact the program has many months until it commences in race form, a ‘technical profile’ can clarify the exciting and radical details so far on their 9X8 LMH.
Read our other Hypercar technical profiles:
- The A480 Gibson: A technical profile of Alpine’s 2021 racer
- The GR010 Hybrid: A technical profile of Toyota’s new Le Mans Hypercar
- The SCG 007 LMH: A technical profile of Glickenhaus’ Hypercar racer
Powertrain and drivetrain
As already announced, the 9X8 will use a rear-mounted 2.6L twin-turbo V6 petrol engine combined with an electric KERS to form their HYBRID4 power plant.
The combined power output of the hybrid will be at 680hp, but will be subjected to the BoP measures as part of the organiser’s focus on competition in Hypercars. This is split as 300kW/408 hp for the ICE, and 200kW/268hp for the motor-generator unit.
It can increase to 700 hp when the battery is depleted at the end of straights, so the electric motor subconsciously performs as a 15 kW (20 hp) alternator.
According to François Coudrain, Peugeot Sport’s WEC Program Powertrain Director, the decision to have two rather than a single turbo was to do with their centre of gravity targets.
Since April, Peugeot has been putting the engine through extensive testing and will continue to do so through the summer.
The 200kW MGU (motor-generator unit) at the front, as well as the seven-speed sequential gearbox, and the 900V battery co-developed by Peugeot Sport and Saft (a subdivision of TotalEnergies), are all in the process of being assembled in keeping with the bench-testing validation schedule being run.
Naturally, a KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) and a brake-by-wire system at the front axle will generate energy back into the battery.
Aerodynamics and dimensions
Needless to say, there is one main aspect of the 9X8 turning everyone’s heads… the lack of rear downforce.
Olivier Jansonnie, Peugeot Sport’s WEC Programme Technical Director, revelled at how the Automobile Club l’Ouest (ACO) and the WEC allows one adjustable form of downforce without specifying whether it had to be the front splitter or rear wing.
“The absence of a rear wing on the Peugeot 9X8 is a major innovative step,” comments Stellantis Motorsport Director Jean-Marc FINOT.
Who will be the first to drive #Peugeot9X8? @KevinMagnussen @MikkelhJensen @followgustavo @PaulDiResta @loicduval @Rossiterracing @JeanEricVergne can't keep their hands off of her! pic.twitter.com/TBO4zdklgp
— Peugeot Sport (@peugeotsport) July 8, 2021
“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!”
Otherwise, the dimensions follow the Hypercar look so to call it. This situates a low and wide profile that combines with the wingless silhouette at the rear, and the sculpted wheel arches.
|9X8 Hypercar Dimensions|
|Weight||1,040 kg (subject to BoP)|
|Fuel Capacity||Unknown as of yet|
The design and appearance
With the LMHs so far, this safely regards itself as the most radical appearance out of all the Hypercars.
Anyone familiar with Peugeot’s performance road-cars of today will note the French marque’s signature grey livery colours with green detailing.
Matthias Hossann, Peugeot Sport’s Design Director, expanded on the ethos behind the look.
“We wanted to take a special approach to the cockpit which, until now, has tended to be a purely functional and indistinctive aspect of racing cars, with no brand identity whatsoever.
“The combination of our colour scheme and Peugeot’s i-Cockpit interior styling signature have provided the 9X8’s cockpit with a distinctive feel and make it immediately identifiable as a Peugeot in on-board camera shots.”
Whilst the interior looks bright and bold, it will be interesting to see how much of that will appear in the final product.
In comparison to the previous Peugeot LMP1s and Group C cars, this is a new direction for the brand and advantageously wishes to make the most of the new Hypercar platform.
There are more details to come later in the year on the development of the 9X8 as part of the build-up to the 2022 WEC season when it will enter a five-year homologation period (beforehand).