Paris show: Peugeot diesel for Le Mans
29 September 2006

2006 has been the year of the competition diesels. First Audi won Le Mans with its V10 TDi, then JCB raised the diesel world land speed record by 115mph.

Now Peugeot is aiming for Le Mans glory with this swooping-bodied racer, the 908 V12 TDi.

Spurred by Audi’s commanding win, Peugeot has given the 908 a 700bhp, 885lb ft V12 to take on the Germans.

The car will weigh 925kg and the mighty V12 is angled at 100 degrees (as opposed to the more usual 90deg) to get the lowest possible centre of gravity.

Although the car appears finished, it hasn’t moved under its own power yet. In fact, the engine hasn’t even run – that will happen next week, with the first shakedown of the car likely to be in December.

Next year the 908 will run a full season of five races in the Le Mans series - plus the 1000km British endurance race at Silverstone or Donington. There will be two 908s at Le Mans.

This is new territory for Peugeot, though it has been able to use its World Rally Championship knowledge for the 908’s traction control systems.

We'll find out if the French firm has what it takes to tackle Audi on the track next year.

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