Peugeot Sport has confirmed that it will compete in the Le Mans Hypercar category of the FIA WEC with its new top class sportscar, today at Le Mans, and not LMDh.
The French constructor has also shown off design sketches and revealed that it will partner up with TOTAL (as expected and reported on DSC previously) to develop a 500 kW power 4-wheel drive hypercar.
“Le Mans is the holy grail of the automobile world,” says Jean Philippe Imparato, Peugeot brand CEO. “It is the race who determines its winner. For us, this represents 3 victories but also the endless sweat, tears and joy and an incredible team spirit with TOTAL, with whom we celebrate this year, 25 years of collaboration.”
Peugeot has already begun development work on the car, and says it chose the LMH platform over LMDh for its project for several reasons. The main one though is that it gives constructors a certain level of ‘aerodynamic freedom’, which Peugeot says “makes it possible to incorporate, with the support of Peugeot Design, the aesthetic detail of the brand.”
After having conducted multiple studies for the general structure of the car, its aerodynamic concept and the choice of engine architecture, Peugeot will come to a final decision on the electrical framework, and then create the hybrid powertrain. All of the Peugeot Sport technical departments are involved in these ongoing and upcoming development phases.
“This category unites our entire company and all of our entities, with features and technologies similar to those of our production cars,” Imperato continues.
“Through this commitment, Peugeot is opening a new register, that of ‘neo performance’. We are coming back to endurance racing because we have the opportunity to work the sport in a different way, with the hybridization of gas and electricity. Peugeot Sport is changing its identity and launching its label of electrified high- performance vehicles; Peugeot Sport Engineered with its first 508 model: 360-horsepower, 4-wheel drive and 46g of C02. This endurance program allows us to integrate ourselves fully into the transition of energies.”
Philippe Montanteme, TOTAL Strategy/Marketing & Research Director adds: “We mark 25 years of close collaboration between Peugeot and TOTAL but also of strong involvement in motorsport. Competition, firmly embedded in our DNA, represents a real technical on-hands workshop for our respective brands.
“It is in these workshops that we can work together, in search of perpetual performance and efficiency, in order to share the best solutions and products from high-level sport to our final customers. The “Le Mans Hypercar” project provides us today possibilities for joint development on the entire energy system of the car; on the efficiency of our fuels – for all the competitors, as the exclusive supplier- or for the lube, specifically designed for hybrid vehicles. It will also allow TOTAL and SAFT to study new battery solutions alongside Peugeot. TOTAL is now a multi-energy company that answers to all mobility demands while maintaining itself as a pioneer. The “Le Mans Hypercar” embodies this perfectly.”
Olivier Jansonnie, the Technical Director Peugeot Sport WEC programme says: “The car will be 4-wheel drive, equipped- as required by the regulations – with an electric motor and a maximum power of 200 kW on the front axle. The TOTAL power level will be identical to that of a 100% thermal 2-wheel drive car (500kW or approx. 680hp) that will be distributed between the 2 axles. In comparison with what we currently know in LMP1, the car will be heavier so as to be compatible with road vehicles. It will also be longer (5m ald 4.65m) and wider (2m ald 1m90).
“This regulation is also different because it incorporates a performance balance (BoP: Balance of Performance). It certainly sets limits, but also allows room for many technical possibilities in our development, specifically on the general shape, as long as a certain overall aerodynamic efficiency is not exceeded. This will be measured in a 1:1 scale wind tunnel and which will be part of the BOP.”
“To this date, we have confirmed part of the aerodynamic concept, the engine framework has been decided and we have chosen the functionality of the hybrid system and its fundamental design. We still have several steps left before our debut in endurance in 2022, in studies, the production of prototypes and finally, affirmation on the bench and on the track.”