- Why Peugeot is involved in motorsport
- The 9X8 is intended to mark a departure
- With almost 1000 HP over the slopes
Peugeot has embedded the race car 9×8 hybrid into a narrow and sporty architecture before the Hypercar in 2022 takes the long-haul race of Le Mans to attack. During the development of the new Peugeot 9×8 Hybrid Hypercar, the Peugeot Design Team has put in stuff as the French communicate. According to the new model, all modern aesthetic features were awarded typical of the Peugeot brand: a cat-like flowing lines to be strengthened by sporty dynamics. Slim and textured flanks and the characteristic branded light signature with three claws. The Peugeot 9×8 Hybrid Hypercar should arouse enthusiasm and embody speed.
To design a race car is the dream of many automotive signs. The likelihood that this dream comes true, however, was previously unlikely, because not the style and the identity of the brand were in the foreground, but the performance – so that racing cars have hardly been distinguished from each other so far from each other. The work of the designers therefore limited themselves to small details and the painting.
In the Peugeot 9×8 Hybrid Hypercar, engineers, designers and designers worked very closely together to achieve a match between style and technology and creating a competitive vehicle. Matthias Hossann, Peugeot Design Director, says the level of discussion was “extraordinary”: “We have been in contact with the Peugeot Sport Team and have really worked hand in hand with them. In order to find the design for our future racing car, we first announced a competition among the designers. The project triggered great enthusiasm. We received many entries with the prospect of one day seeing our creation compete against the most prestigious brands in the world on the best circuits.”
“Once the design had been selected with the help of the Peugeot Sport engineers, we got to work together,” Hossann continues. Guided by uncompromised performance and under a new set of regulations, the engineers gave the designers as much freedom as possible to develop the design of the hypercar. The Peugeot 9X8 has been designed with the DNA of the new Hypercar Regulations (LMH) requested by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the organizers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile. “This vehicle will be a milestone in the history of endurance racing,” Hossann is certain.
Why Peugeot is involved in motorsport
Peugeot is involved in motorsport primarily because the brand wants to be a laboratory for ideas and sees itself as a driver of innovation. Motor sport is also opening up new areas for all the professional groups involved, which Peugeot claims to be making itself more and more original and creative.
As an ambassador of Peugeot design and an inspiration for future developments, the Peugeot 9X8 HYBRID Hypercar joins the trend of the vehicle range that also includes the new Peugeot 308. A new signature lion head logo crest appeared in early 2021. This was first seen on the Peugeot 9X8 before the new Peugeot 308 was also fitted with it. “We didn’t just want to build a beautiful racing car,” explains Matthias Hossann. “The engineering of the Peugeot 9X8 is a pure Peugeot Sport development and we had to take that into account in our design. Without compromising performance, we wanted to give it a unique shape, keeping the idea of a sober body that contrasts with the very geometric long-distance vehicles of the previous generation.”
The 9X8 is intended to mark a departure
The Peugeot 9X8 HYBRID Hypercar wants to break radically with previous generations of racing cars and usher in a new era. “The Peugeot 9X8 is a real milestone in motorsport,” the future drivers reportedly said when they saw it for the first time. “There will be a before and an after of the Peugeot 9X8 and we are lucky to have been there.”
The most striking feature of the design, which for many is the heart of the matter, is the lack of a rear wing, which gives the car its unique shape. The rear wing first appeared in endurance racing at Le Mans in 1967 and has since become the standard. Since 1971, i.e. for a little over 50 years, no vehicle without a rear wing has won. This testifies to the courage and inventiveness of the designers and engineers at Peugeot.
When developing the Peugeot 9X8 HYBRID hypercar, a great deal of effort was put into the design of the rear. Based on the original sketch of a slightly overhanging car, a slightly tapered driver’s cabin and the very special paneling, which can now be seen above the rear wheel, were created.
With almost 1000 HP over the slopes
Peugeot has already won at Le Mans with two vehicles from two different generations: in 1992 and 1993 with the Peugeot 905 with V10 petrol engine and in 2009 with the Peugeot 908 with V12 HDi FAP engine. Here too, the Peugeot 9X8 marks the beginning of a new era with the technology used. Olivier Jansonne, Technical Director Peugeot, explains: “Endurance racing is based on a set of regulations that allows us to demonstrate Peugeot‘s expertise in all electric powertrains.”
With its all-wheel drive hybrid drive, the Peugeot 9X8 shares certain similarities with several models in the Peugeot range, such as the Peugeot 3008 or the Peugeot 508. The racing car combines a 2.6-liter V6 combustion engine with twin turbocharging and an output of 500 kW (680 hp) at the rear with a 200 kW (270 hp) electric motor generator at the front. “With the Peugeot 9X8, the lion brand is opening a new chapter in HYBRID sports vehicles. The power will be more electric and more powerful, without us having to sacrifice competitiveness,” says Technical Director Olivier Jansonne.
“We wanted to underline this technological and strategic change with a new color signature, which we called kryptonite colors,” adds Matthias Hossann. “We had already introduced you to our new production model shortly before our Peugeot 9×8 Hybrid Hypercar, which is also a hybrid: the Peugeot 508 PSE. This model shares with the Peugeot 9×8 next to the color also many technical characteristics. Within a few weeks, both have led the Peugeot brand into the era of electrical high performance vehicles.”
As a photographer for the peugeot 9×8 image series, Agnieszka Doroszewicz recognized the potential of the eye-catching light signature, which should come into validity during the night hours at the 24-hour race of Le Mans: “We wanted to distribute our shoot over a long day and it is up to expand the night in, “she says. “So I could put the 24-hour race of Le Mans in my photos perfectly in scene. Daylight, artificial light and the bright illumination of the headlights combine with the powerful pattern of the vehicle’s claw optics.”
“I’ve often been invited to work at Le Mans and other 24-hour races such as the Nurburgring (Germany) and Spa (Belgium). But Le Mans is historically the most compelling and my absolute favourite. The atmosphere, excitement and suspense are palpable and of course you can feel the history of this race in every pore. You can’t evade her. Le Mans is one of the purest and most ultimate forms of racing,” Agnieszka Doroszewicz continues: “Every photo shoot has its own anecdotes. For example, when shooting with the Peugeot 9X8, it was terribly cold. But nothing could dampen the passion of Matthias and his team, who were there throughout the recording. Your presence was very motivating as we took the opportunity to have a real discussion. In addition, the shoot was absolutely fantastic: the contrast between the pure aesthetics of the Peugeot 9X8 and the architecture of the location was impressive, and the rough surface of the concrete texture beautifully evoked the world of racetracks.”
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