Can Looks win a Race? Peugeot think so

For a Le Mans. A manufacturer has to be victorious on two fronts, firstly, performance. Secondly, it needs to be intriguing to remain in the minds of the potential buying public as long as possible, enabling the marque to get its highest ROI.

Peugeot has had an exciting history with Le Mans; they accomplished three overall Le Mans 24-hour victories in 1992, 1993 and 2009, at the time when Audi was the actual competition.

In 2009 they certainly succeeded in the interest department with their PEUGEOT 908 HDi FAP thanks to its powertrain choice; it was powered to victory by a 5.5-litre V12 diesel engine).

They are looking to replicate that spectacle with their PEUGEOT 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar. Fitted with a 2.6 litres V6 twin-turbo mid-engined, longitudinally-mounted 4WD power plant producing 671 bhp from the petrol engine and a further 268 bhp from the electric assistance.

With aesthetics being such an important component, Peugeot launched a competition between the designers. Understandably, they received many submissions as this project sparked massive enthusiasm, with the prospect of one day seeing their creation ‘compete against the world’s most prestigious brands on the most mythical of tracks.’

Olivier Jansonnie, Technical Director, said, ‘Endurance racing rules allow us to demonstrate PEUGEOT’s expertise across all-electric power trains.’

A final somewhat surprising fact, the car will race without a rear wing. The ‘wing’ first appeared in 1967 at Le Mans, and since 1971 there hasn’t been a single victory without a rear wing. Can you imagine the attention Peugeot would receive if they managed a triumph of such magnitude?

Due to their advanced wind-tunnel testing, Peugeot is optimistic that this is the correct construction for success.

Peugeot is hopeful the 9X8 will be ready for the 24-hour Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps event, held the 4 and 5 June this year, before the 90th edition of Le Mans, the biggest race in endurance racing will take place on 11 and 12 June 2022.