The Peugeot 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar does without a rear wing
This is it: the bold new Peugeot 9X8 will race at Le Mans in 2022
Welcome to Peugeot’s new Le Mans car. Well, a close approximation of it at any rate. The 9X8 – ‘9’ references the Le Mans-winning 905 and 908 prototypes, ‘X’ is for hybrid all-wheel drive and ‘8’ links it to Peugeot’s road cars – is still very much in development, but we’re promised it’ll look almost exactly like this when it goes racing in the WEC next year*.
And no, it won’t suddenly sprout a rear-wing. Peugeot claims nothing in the rulebook says it has to run with a wing, and that smart aero (presumably there’s some hugely clever stuff going on underneath) means the 9X8 doesn’t really need one.
Stellantis’s motorsport boss Jean-Marc Finot called the decision to forgo a wing “a major innovative step”. He said: “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!”
We already know what powers the 9X8. Peugeot has been testing the mid-mounted 680bhp 2.6-litre twin-turbo V6 since April, and will soon marry it with a seven-speed sequential transmission, a 272bhp motor-generator unit for the front axle and its 900-volt battery. They should have the car up and running by the end of this year.
We know too who’s going to drive it – Loic Duval, Paul di Resta, Kevin Magnussen, Mikkel Jensen, Gustavo Menezes and Jean-Eric Vergne will be split between two cars, with Brit James Rossiter as a stand-in. For now, let's bask in the way it looks...
*If it’s ready in time…
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