Peugeot Unveils 9X8, a Wingless Hypercar Ready to Race
The car segment in the automobile is all set to go electric. It is not just the cars for commuting to work, or the pickup trucks and the SUVs. Even the hypercars from Ferrari and Lotus will now go electric. French carmaker Peugeot is also joining the fray with a wingless hypercar that will contest the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2022.
After struggling to keep teams interested in the costly Le Mans Prototype 1, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) created the Le Mans Hypercar class to turn heads, and not burn a hole through carmakers' pockets. The FIA provides a set of rules for car designs and then tests them for their reliability and efficiency at the Le Mans circuit. The annual 3000-mile (5400 kilometers) long race to be completed in 24 hours is the ultimate test of endurance for a car.
“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,” said Kevin Magnussen, the former Formula 1 driver who will be driving the Peugeot car at the 2022 event.
After they have decided to compete in the 2022 event, the team at Peugeot started working feverishly to design their hypercar. The result is a car that breaks stereotypes of what a racing car ought to be. The regulations permitted only one adjustable aerodynamic feature; so, the engineers and designers at Peugeot decided to do away with the rear wing to deliver high performance.
The absence of the rear wing has allowed the team to design a car that resembles a cat ready to pounce with the front and rear lighting features resembling claws. Under the hood, the car has a 680 hp (500kW) V6 engine at its rear and a 200kW electric motor in the front that connects to a high density 900 volts battery pack. The regulations require a hybrid powertrain for the event.