Peugeot’s 9X8 Hypercar will compete in the World Endurance Championship this year, and in 2023 it will compete in the new Le Mans Hybrid class. 

The 9X8 will make its racing debut at the Six Hours of Monza on July 10th, the fourth round of the World Endurance Championship, before making its appearance at Le Mans in 2023.

The removal of a rear wing is the biggest surprise in the photos, which reveal the 9X8 will keep faithful to its development idea. “Our calculations and wind-tunnel work have validated the pertinence of our decision to run without a rear wing,” said technical director Olivier Jansonnie before about the lack of a wing.

Despite the 9X8’s severe nature, some design features are borrowed from road-going Peugeots. The ‘three-claw’ headlight trademark is present, and inside, the French company has attempted to reproduce the look of the Peugeot ‘i-Cockpit’ dashboard layout which is an element of racing cars that has previously been merely functional rather than consciously decorated.

The 9X8 is the successor to the Peugeot 905 from the early 1990s and the Porsche 908 from the late 2000s, both of which won Le Mans.

Peugeot design director Matthias Hossan said of the car’s unusual styling:”Since the 9X8 is a Peugeot, the original sketch that steered our work portrayed a big cat ready to pounce – a stance that we have suggested by the slightly forward-tilting cockpit.”

“The overall lines express the brand’s styling cues, while its sleek, racy, elegant forms inspire emotion and dynamism.”

The 9X8 is powered by a 671bhp 2.6-litre twin-turbo V6 engine positioned in the rear mid-section, along with a 286bhp electric motor mounted on the front axle. A seven-speed sequential gearbox connects the combustion engine to the rear wheels.

Paul di Resta, Loic Duval, Mikkel Jensen, James Rossiter (replacing Kevin Magnussen, who transferred to Formula 1), Gustavo Menezes, and Jean-Eric Vergne make up Peugeot’s Hypercar driving team, which was revealed in late 2020.

This year’s Le Mans will feature the Peugeot 9X8, but only as a static showcase for spectators.

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