Peugeot 9X8 Is A Wingless Hybrid Racing Car

French automaker Peugeot recently debuted its newest 9X8 hyper racing car, the brand's latest contender in the FIA World Endurance Championship's Le Mans Hypercar series for the 2022 season. The 9X8 succeeds the Peugeot 905 and Peugeot 908 that won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1992, 1993, and 2009.

"The overall lines of the Peugeot 9X8 express the brand's styling cues, while its sleek, racy, elegant forms inspire emotion and dynamism," said Matthias Hossann, Peugeot Design Director. Least to say, Peugeot's newest racing car is not fooling around in terms of design. It has a slightly forward-tilting cockpit and distinctive front and rear lighting signatures that resemble the claw-like strokes of a pouncing cat.

What's surprising is the lack of a giant rear wing. We all know racing cars to have gigantic rear spoilers that improve aero efficiency and downforce, but the Peugeot 9X8 makes do without it. The result is a clean and sweeping surface that is unlike anything we've seen in a Le Mans racing car. Peugeot engineers successfully achieved peak aerodynamic efficiency minus the rear wing, but how they did it remains a secret for now.

The newest Peugeot 9X8 has a rear-mounted 2.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine pumping out 680 horsepower to the rear wheels via a seven-speed sequential transmission. Meanwhile, it also has a hybrid powertrain that adds a 200 kW electric motor in the front axle and a single-speed reducer, drawing power from a 900V high-density battery pack co-developed by Peugeot and TotalEnergies.

Other neat features include backlit Peugeot lion's head logos at the vehicle's front and sides, a contrasting Selenium Gray and Kryptonite Acid paint job, and a similar yellow-green interior scheme. "The combination of our color scheme and PEUGEOT's i-Cockpit interior styling signature have provided the 9X8's cockpit with a distinctive feel and make it immediately identifiable as a PEUGEOT in on-board camera shots," added Hossann.

The 9X8 monicker is not just a random set of alphanumeric figures. The "9" pays homage to the Le Mans-winning Peugeot 905 and 908. The "X" refers to the racing car's hybrid all-wheel drivetrain. Finally, the "8" is the suffix utilized for all Peugeot vehicles in the lineup like the 208, 308, and 5008.

Peugeot is fielding two 9X8 racing cars at the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship. The brand will release its race schedule later this year.