Peugeot heading back to sports car top tier with Hypercar
Will be AWD hybrid with road car design cues
Peugeot is making a return to the top tiers of sportscar racing, announcing a plan to head back to Le Mans in 2022 with an all-new Hypercar-class racer for the World Endurance Championship.
The French automaker said last year that it would be reentering sports car racing, but at the time was still looking at which classes offered the best opportunity for the brand. After months of back and forth, in a decision that was supposed to have been made in March, Peugeot and sponsor Total are kicking off the Le Mans Hypercar project.
They picked LMH for several reasons, one of those being freedom with the car’s shape and aero package. That lets Peugeot Sport, who will be designing the car, give the Hypercar Peugeot’s design aesthetic and liken it to the company’s road cars.
“This category unites our entire company and all of our entities, with features and technologies similar to those of our production cars. 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,” said brand CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato.
Peugeot’s entry will be a hybrid using a 268 hp front axle energy retrieval system per class rules, and total power around 680 hp. the car will be all-wheel drive, and is expected to be longer, wider, and heavier than the current LMP1 cars. Peugeot says the class allows for “many technical possibilities”, allowing them to innovate with the car. Technical Director Olivier Jansonnie said that “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.”
Peugeot has won Le Mans three times over the years, in 1992 and 1993 and again in 2009 with the 908 HDi FAP.