24h Le Mans
Peugeot unveils 9X8 Hypercar
Peugeot has pulled the wraps off the prototype of its 9X8 Hypercar, set to compete in FIA WEC in 2022. The 9X8 makes a bold statement as it ventures into the new era of endurance racing by adopting a radically sleek appearance that dispenses with a rear wing.
Following on from the Peugeot 905 and Peugeot 908 that scooped 24 Hours of Le Mans glory in 1992, 1993 and 2009 respectively, the Peugeot 9X8 faces the challenge of perpetuating the French manufacturer’s motorsport legacy, marked by high-performance models stamped with the brand’s instantly recognisable hallmarks.
With the 9X8, Peugeot is launching a true branding initiative around the concept of Neo-Performance, combining ultimate sporting prowess, technological know-how transferable to production models, efficiency, and stylistic excellence. The Design and Engineering teams at Peugeot and Peugeot Sport have worked hand-in-hand to explore new aerodynamic and stylistic solutions. The innovative approach was triggered by the Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) regulations adopted by the FIA and the ACO to replace the LMP1 rulebook. In particular, the new regulations offer greater flexibility in terms of aerodynamics and give design teams the scope to embrace radical new thinking.
The number 9 symbolises Peugeot’s iconic racing machines of the past such as the 905 (1990-1993) and 908 (2007-2011).
The X is a nod to the Hypercar’s all-wheel-drive powertrain technology integrating a hybrid system.
Number 8 is the final digit of all Peugeot models today: 208, 2008, 308, 3008, 508 and 5008.
Two Peugeot 9X8 Hypercars will take their place on the FIA World Endurance Championship grid in 2022.
WHAT THE DRIVERS SAY
Paul Di Resta, 35, Scottish former Formula One driver and 2010 DTM champion: "Everyone wondered what the Hypercars would look like and now they’re here. The 9X8’s aggressive, innovative stance and strong brand identity are a big surprise."
Loïc Duval, 39, French winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 2013 World Endurance Champion: "There are cars that you look at and say they’re nice from the three-quarters front view, say, or from the side, from the front or from the back. The 9X8 looks terrific from every angle!"
Mikkel Jensen, 26, Danish endurance racing driver and 2019 ELMS LMP3 champion: "The 9X8’s lines are very different to those that have been unveiled or hinted at in recent months. It will be a historic moment if we succeed in winning with this car because nothing in this style has ever been attempted before."
Kevin Magnussen, 28, Danish former Formula One driver and IMSA endurance racing driver: "There’s been nothing like it before. It really looks like the future of racing. It’s the first time so much work has gone into a racing car’s actual design. The absence of a rear wing was a huge surprise. It feels like the beginning of a new era."
Gustavo Menezes, 26, American WEC driver and 2016 LMP2 Le Mans 24 Hours winner and world champion: "The 9X8 signals the beginning of a new chapter in motor racing. These past 10 or so years have been marked by LMP1 prototypes. It was time to invent an iconic future with the 9X8."
James Rossiter, 37, British former Formula One, ALMS and Super GT driver: "I really wasn’t expecting this much creativity. Its design is really disruptive. PEUGEOT’s Hypercar has pushed the envelope."
Jean-Eric Vergne, 31, French former Formula One driver and twice Formula E champion: "The Peugeot 9X8 is revolutionary. The teams responsible for its design have taken it in a direction that hasn’t been seen in motor racing for a long time. Magnificent!"
More photos of the Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar: