Peugeot shares first details of Le Mans Hypercar entry
Peugeot has confirmed it will be entering the new Le Mans Hypercar class and teased what its competition car could look like.
The French firm is collaborating with petrol company and long-time sponsor Total to enter a car in the new top-tier of endurance motorsport when it launches in 2022.
Peugeot picked the new ‘LMH’ class because it provided more aerodynamic freedom than other classes in the series, sharing early draft sketches of how its new car could look.
Ahead of the 2020 Le Mans 24-hour race, Peugeot says it has begun work on the hybrid hypercar, which it claims will have at least 661bhp and all-wheel-drive
Jean-Philippe Imparato, Peugeot brand CEO, said: “This category unites our entire company and all of our entities, with features and technologies similar to those of our production cars.
“Through this commitment, Peugeot is opening a new register, that of ‘neo performance’. We are coming back to endurance racing because we have the opportunity to work the sport in a different way, with the hybridisation of gas and electricity.
“Peugeot Sport is changing its identity and launching its label of electrified high-performance vehicles; Peugeot Sport Engineered with its first 508 model: 360 horsepower, four-wheel-drive and 46g of C02. This endurance program allows us to integrate ourselves fully into the transition of energies.”
Olivier Jansonnie, technical director of the Peugeot Sport World Endurance Championship program, said: “The car will be four-wheel drive, equipped – as required by the regulations – with an electric motor and a maximum power of 200kW on the front axle.
“This regulation is also different because it incorporates a performance balance. It certainly sets limits, but also allows room for many technical possibilities in our development, specifically on the general shape, as long as a certain overall aerodynamic efficiency is not exceeded.”
At present, the existing top-tier class in endurance racing (called LMP1) only has one manufacturer competing, largely because costs are estimated to be higher than in Formula 1.
Therefore, the purpose of the new Hypercar category is to make endurance racing more cost effective for teams. To enter, manufacturers must fit the race car’s engine and energy recovery system into at least 25 road-legal models. This is helping usher in a new era of hypercars, with vehicles built by Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus and Toyota so far confirmed to be in production.
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