Peugeot shares design details of wingless 9X8 hybrid hypercar

peugeot-9X8

Peugeot’s newest race car made quite the buzz immediately soon after it was unveiled. See, the 9X8 looks to do something very unconventional — at least as far as motorsport racing goes. Rear wings, big or small, have been a part of race cars since forever. So, designing a race car without one is something unheard of.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Will the Peugeot 9X8 hybrid hypercar still meet race regulations even without a rear wing?

    Yes. According to Peugeot's design director, the Peugeot 9X8 follows the regulations set by Automobile Club de l’Ouest and the FIA.
  • What will power the 9X8?

    The 9X8 hybrid hypercar will be powered by a a V6 2.6-liter twin-turbocharged ICE and an electric motor/generator.
  • The rear wing first appeared in endurance racing at Le Mans in 1967 and has since become the prevailing standard. And as Peugeot said, “no car has won without a rear wing for over 50 years.” The absence of a rear wing not only gives the 9X8 hybrid hypercar a unique profile but also speaks of the audacity and inventiveness of the French carmaker’s designers and engineers.

    In addition to having no rear wings, the Peugeot 9X8 was imbued with all the contemporary aesthetic codes specific to the brand; a feline stance, fluid lines enhanced by sporty cues, sleek and structured flanks, and, of course, the characteristic three-clawed luminous signature of the Lion.

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    To achieve such an unconventional design, Peugeot Design Director Matthias Hossann worked closely with the company’s motorsports division.

    “The level of discussion was absolutely unprecedented. We worked hand in hand with the Peugeot Sport team,” explained Hossann.

    “We developed the theme in collaboration with Peugeot Sport engineers and set to work. Guided by performance, for which no compromise was ever made, and under innovative regulations, the engineers left as much room as possible to allow the Hypercar’s designers freedom of creativity. The Peugeot 9X8 was born with the DNA of the new Hypercar regulations (LMH) set by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The new regulations, and the fundamental traits of Peugeot, mean that this car will stand as a milestone in the history of Endurance racing,” he added.

    According to Peugeot, it launched a competition between their designers to identify the theme for the future race car that will bear the mark of the French Lion.

    “Despite the quality of the many proposals that came out of our internal design competition, one was quickly established as the chosen theme. It broke the codes of the previous generation of endurance cars. The idea posited was that this would be less of a previous-generation race car and more identifiable as a Peugeot. It needed to bring together more than just fans of motorsport, as this would be a sports car that could, in theory, be driven on the road as well as the race track,” shared Peugeot’s design director.

    Peugeot admitted that members of its design teams include devoted fans of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. That said, it played a significant role in giving the wingless car an added flair.

    As endurance race spectators, Le Mans fans of Peugeot’s design team know that at night, trackside, the cars have few distinctive signs. Some cars can be recognized by the sound of their engines, but in many places, the cars’ visual presence is mostly limited to bright lines fading away into the night.

    On that note, the team added luminous components to their work on the silhouette to make the Peugeot 9X8 easily recognizable day or night.

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    On the technical side, the 9X8 hybrid hypercar will draw power from a combination of a V6 2.6-liter twin-turbocharged 500kW (680hp) internal combustion engine at the rear and a 200kW (270hp) electric motor/generator in the front.

    “With the 9X8, Peugeot is starting a new chapter in hybrid sports cars. Performance is becoming more electric and more virtuous, without sacrificing anything in terms of competitiveness,” said Peugeot Technical Director Olivier Jansonnie.

    Photos from Stellantis

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