Currently reading: Peugeot 9X8 revealed in race spec ahead of Monza debut in July
Final version of Peugeot's 670bhp hybrid endurance racer has also been confirmed for Le Mans in 2023

Peugeot’s outlandishly styled 9X8 endurance racer will make its long-awaited competition debut at Monza in July.

Team Peugeot TotalEnergies has unwrapped the final race-spec version of the highly charged 9X8 hybrid ahead of its participation in the fourth round of the 2022 World Endurance Championship, the 6 Hours of Monza race, on 10 July. 

The 9X8 will also compete in the 2023 Le Mans 24 Hours – a year later than originally planned – which Peugeot describes as “the crowning moment of a new golden age of endurance racing”, with a new crop of racers adhering to the new Le Mans Hybrid (LMH) or Le Mans Daytona Hybrid (LMdH) regulations. 

The 9X8 is Peugeot’s first top-flight factory race car since it took part in the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours with the diesel-engined 908 HDi FAP, having exited world rallying six years previously. It will initially take on Toyota's TS010 and the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG007 in its class, but Aston Martin, Ferrari and Lamborghini are all working on entries for 2023 and 2024. 

It also effectively serves as a halo model for a new line of road-going electrified sports cars being developed by the Peugeot Sport Engineered division. “As a shop window for Peugeot’s technological expertise in the fields of hybridisation and electrification – both key elements of the brand’s energy transition strategy – it underscores the company’s commitment to excellence for both its competitive endeavours and its customers”, said the brand.

The grey-green livery is an obvious link to the first of these road cars, the Peugot 508 PSE, and the firm promises that similarly conceived sports hybrids are on the horizon. 

Pairing a twin-turbocharged 2.6-litre V6 with an electric motor on the front axle, the four-wheel-drive racer packs a combined 670bhp – the maximum permitted in the WEC’s new hypercar class – and stores its EV power in a battery equipped with 900V hardware for ultra-quick charging capacity.

Despite its hybrid drivetrain, 90-litre fuel tank (which will contain TotalEnergies’s ‘100% renewable’ synthetic fuel in races) and lengthy 4995mm by 2000mm footprint, the 9X8 tips the scales at just 1030kg - only around 100kg more than a Toyota Aygo X or Volkswagen Up.

The design is little changed compared with the 9X8 prototype revealed last year, with the same ‘fang’ lighting at the front nodding to Peugeot’s road cars and the bright green accents signalling its electrified innards. 

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It also continues to go without a rear wing – unusual for an endurance racer of its ilk. “Many speculated that the lack of a rear wing would prove unworkable in reality”, said Peugeot, but track tests over the past few months have sufficiently proved the 9X8 can perform capably without one. 

Peugeot CEO Linda Jackson said: “Peugeot’s participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship is further evidence of the brand’s ingenuity and longstanding passion for motorsport. It will also play a role in the essential transfer of technology from the race track to our road-going vehicles, particularly in the field of electrification. 

“To illustrate how serious we are about energy transition, Peugeot has committed to electrifying its entire model range by 2024. What’s more, if we are to achieve our target of being electric-only in Europe by 2030, we know we need to excel in this domain, and motor racing is crucial to this objective. 

“Even before the Peugeot 9X8 makes its race debut, the programme’s engineers have already carried over its hybrid system to one of our road cars – the Peugeot 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered. And other examples are similarly in the pipeline.”

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jason_recliner 20 May 2022

Why?

Waste of everything.