Peugeot And Total Have Created A Le Mans Hypercar

It looks fascinating, right? You're looking at Peugeot Sport and Total's newest Le Mans hypercar. This monster of a race car is heading to the 88th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It's the newest Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) project between the two French conglomerates to celebrate Peugeot's return to the World Endurance Championship.

"Le Mans is the holy grail of the automobile world. It is the race which determines its winner," said Jean Philippe Imparato, Peugeot brand CEO. "For us, this represents three victories but also the endless sweat, tears, joy, and an incredible team spirit with Total, with whom we celebrate this year, 25 years of collaboration."

Peugeot and Total's 'Neo Performance' Le Mans hypercar is, expectedly, a gasoline-hybrid. It has a mid-mounted 2.6-liter twin-turbo gasoline V6 engine connected to a seven-speed sequential gearbox, turning the rear wheels.

The electric part is a single electric motor governing the front wheels, drawing power from a 900-volt battery pack. The powertrain is affectionately known as HYBRID 500KW in Peugeot-speak.

The twin-turbo gasoline engine is good for 680 horsepower, while the single electric motor churns out 272 horsepower. But then again, the old rules from 2021 caps the power output to 680 horsepower, and it means the powertrain is limited to under 700 horsepower until the battery runs empty, allowing the vehicle to still meet FIA regulations with the gasoline engine running solo.

It gets more complicated. The motorsport rulebooks explicitly say the electric motor can only chip in at speeds above 75 mph, although drivers are encouraged to run the electric motor in the pitlanes. This means the car is 4WD only on faster corners and long straights, while the drivetrain shifts to RWD in slower corners and race starts.

However, new rules are raising the power cap to 700 horsepower. The electric motor can function as an alternator to briefly offer 20 more horsepower to the gasoline engine's 680 horses. Sensors monitor the activity on all four wheels, and the FIA can measure the power levels in real-time.

"The Le Mans Hypercar project provides us today possibilities for joint development of the entire energy system of the car," said Philippe Montanteme, Total Strategy/Marketing & Research Director. "Total is now a multi-energy company that answers to all mobility demands while maintaining itself as a pioneer."

The car you see here is in the pre-project stages of development, but it looks utterly convincing with its mysterious tri-linear headlights and greenish hue. We're more interested in the fact its hybrid V6 powertrain might make its way to future Peugeot sports cars, and we'll be here to report firsthand when it happens.