Peugeot has released more images of its radical 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar, which will take part in the 2021 World Endurance Championship.
Peugeot has released further images of its new 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar on the track, revealing a prototype without a rear wing.
Peugeot is scheduled to return to WEC including 24 Hours of Le Mans after 11 years. However, the French outfit acknowledged that the new vehicle will not debut in 1000 Miles of Sebring, despite being featured on the 2022 WEC entry list.
The prototype’s odd shape is due to the new Hypercar rule changes, with Peugeot choosing for a ground-effect option, utilizing the car’s floor and underbody to achieve the 4:1 downforce ratio as the new regulations require.
“This configuration is permitted by the ACO/FIA hypercar regulations,” said Olivier Jansonnie, the Technical Director of Peugeot WEC programme.
“Our calculations and wind tunnel work have confirmed the pertinence of our decision to run without a rear wing.”
“Along with the developments and settings this option calls for, we expect it to be validated as we test at different circuits with differing characteristics.”
The ACO’s Hypercar rules currently require that at least one car must compete in at least one season of the World Endurance Championship. But it appears Peugeot may be allowed to deviate from the rule as the outfit is hesitant to make its debut until it feels the car is ready completely without making further changes.
“The 9X8 will make its race debut based on its level of readiness, reliability and competitiveness as agreed with the championship’s organisers who we will keep regularly updated as our development programme progresses,” said Jean-Marc Finot, Stellantis Motorsport Director.
“We could have opted for attending selected races only without committing to the season. That would have been possible but less coherent.”
“Instead, we have chosen an approach that will enable the team to be fully immersed in the discipline, resulting in much closer collaboration with the organisers even if the 9X8 doesn’t contest every race as our development work and the homologation process continue,” he concluded.
Kevin Magnussen, Jean-Eric Vergne, and Paul Di Resta, as well as Loc Duval, Gustavo Menezes, and Mikkel Jensen, were announced as the team’s drivers for 2022.