Looking like a virtual reality car the new Peugeot 9X8 Hybrid Hypercar which will debut this year in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), has been designed with one objective to achieve a win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a race the French brand has won twice but to get the winning momentum rolling it was recently awarded the "Grand Prize for the most beautiful Hypercar of the year" at the 37th Festival Automobile International..
To create the new 9X8 Hybrid Hypercar, the PEUGEOT Design team went hard out. They imbued it with all the contemporary aesthetic codes specific to the marque: a feline stance, fluid lines enhanced by signs of sportiveness, sleek and structured flanks and, of course, the characteristic three-clawed luminous signature of the Lion. Slim and sleek, the PEUGEOT 9X8 arouses emotion and embodies speed.
Designing a racing car is an ultimate dream of every automobile designer. The probability of that dream ever coming true was up until now close to zero: rather than the marque’s style and identity, performance was the prime consideration, so much so that racing cars had become morphologically almost indistinguishable from one another. The designers’ work was limited to small details and the livery.
For the PEUGEOT 9X8 Hybrid Hypercar, engineers and designers worked very closely together to achieve a convergence between style and technology to create a competition vehicle.
The ultimate ambassador of PEUGEOT Design and an inspiration for future developments, the Hybrid Hypercar 9X8 sits within the trend set for the cars in the range, including the all-new PEUGEOT 308. It was the PEUGEOT 9X8 that first sported the new Lion head badge introduced in early 2021 before it also appeared on the PEUGEOT 308.
Another distinctive sign of PEUGEOT's expertise and style is evident in the 9X8's cabin which is based on the marque's characteristic i-Cockpit concept. Just as for a series model project, the care taken with the interior design was matched only by the demanding level of requirement for the exterior: the driver and the fans in front of their screens must feel as though they are in a PEUGEOT beyond any shade of a doubt. Moreover, the entire PEUGEOT 9X8 cockpit was designed to provide the highest degree of ergonomics and intuitiveness for drivers.
The most striking feature of this concept, and one that for many sums it up is the absence of a rear wing, which gives it its unique morphology.
The rear wing first appeared in endurance racing at Le Mans in 1967, and has since become the enduring standard. Since 1971, just over 50 years ago, no car has won without a rear wing. This shows the audacity and inventiveness of the PEUGEOT designers and engineers.
When the PEUGEOT 9X8 was created, a huge amount of effort was put into the rear end. Following the original sketch of a somewhat lunging car, a slightly pointed cabin appeared, along with the very particular wrap that we see today over the rear wheel,
PEUGEOT has already won at Le Mans with two cars of two different generations: the 905 with a V10 petrol engine in 1992 and 1993, and the 908 with a V12 HDi-FAP engine in 2009. Once again, it is with the technology used that the PEUGEOT 9X8 marks the beginning of a new era.
For its four-wheel drive hybrid propulsion, the PEUGEOT 9X8 has certain similarities with several models in the PEUGEOT range, such as the PEUGEOT 3008 or the PEUGEOT 508. It combines a V6 2.6-litre twin-turbocharged 500 kW (680 HP) internal combustion engine at the rear with a 200 kW (270 HP) electric motor/generator in the front.
“With the 9X8, PEUGEOT is starting a new chapter among hybrid supercars. The features are becoming more electric and provide greater advantage without sacrificing anything in terms of competitiveness. Olivier Jansonnie Technical director of the project.
Each year, the Grands Prix du Festival Automobile International reward the most beautiful achievements in the automotive field. The architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte chairs a jury of experts from the car, fashion, culture, design worlds and the media.