French carmaker Peugeot scrapped its endurance program almost a decade ago, but last December it was decided to return to the WEC in 2022 to compete in the hypercar category.
On September 18, the day when the main events related to the upcoming 24-hour race began at Le Mans, the Peugeot press service presented the first images of the future sports prototype, and also revealed some details related to this project.
The hybrid hypercar is being developed jointly by oil and gas company Total, a traditional sponsor of Peugeot, with whom the factory team has been racing on the racetrack for a quarter of a century, including three victories at Le Mans.
The car with an all-wheel drive transmission will comply with the new WEC technical regulations, its hybrid power plant should develop about 670 hp. One of its engines, installed in front, with a capacity of 286 hp, drives the front wheels, but there will be a second engine, the parameters of which have not yet been reported.
Sports prototypes of the new generation will not only be heavier than the current ones, but also longer (up to 5 m) and wider (up to 2 m).
Olivier Jansoni, Technical Director of Peugeout Sport WEC, commented: “The new rules set some limits, but at the same time make it possible to use different technical solutions, especially this applies to the shape of the car as a whole, given that the overall aerodynamic efficiency should not be exceeded …
We have shown only part of our aerodynamic concept. The basic decisions on the power plant were also adopted, we relied on the functionality of the hybrid system and decided on the basics of its design. We have a few more steps to take before we debut at the WEC in 2022 – this is continued research and prototyping, and finally bench tests, as well as tests on a real track. “
When drawing up technical regulations for hypercars, the organizers of the championship sought to achieve cost savings, so the team’s annual budget is limited at 20 million euros. Carmakers can either develop a new sports prototype from scratch, or build it on the basis of an existing serial hypercar.
Peugeot has a rich history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans: the factory team won the marathon in 1992 and 1993, when the Group C category still existed. It then competed with Audi in the LMP1 class between 2007 and go to 2011 and in 2009 won for the third time with the diesel sports prototype Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. And now the concern is returning to Le Mans again.
FIA President Jean Todt, who led Peugeot’s sports programs in the 1980s and early 1990s, sincerely welcomed the return of the French concern to Le Mans: “Welcome back to the WEC with the Le Mans Hypercar Project. This is great news for both the championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In the past, I had a lot in common with Peugeot, I have many good memories, and now I wish this company all the best for the future. “