Stellantis’ Peugeot brand is at the forefront of its electrification plans in Europe. With its range of battery-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, nearly every vehicle sold by the French brand has an electrified option. Road cars aren’t the only thing Peugeot is known for, though. The company has participated in many racing series for decades including the World Rally Championship, the Dakar Rally, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With Peugeot 9X8 Hybrid Hypercar, the automaker is paying homage to its endurance racing roots by giving us a glimpse at what its future electrified race car could look like.
The Peugeot 9X8 Hybrid Hypercar looks like a proper competition vehicle. Donning the latest version of the brand’s iconic lion emblem, it features a giant fin and a look evoking the 908 race car that won at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2009. Unlike its previous entries in endurance racing, the 9X8 Hybrid Hypercar doesn’t have a rear wing. The front of the car features three LED light strips for the headlights that are mimicked in the back for the taillights. You also see wheel openings on the front wells, which are likely there for additional brake cooling and downforce. They should be working together with the other openings to optimize the car’s aerodynamics.
Like the race cars that inspired it, the Peugeot 9X8 Hybrid Hypercar is essentially a single-seater. The dash looks like it came straight out of one of Peugeot’s entries in the FIA’s endurance racing events complete with the same minimalist gauge cluster. One of the standout design cues is the lime green color scheme, which you also see on some of the accent lights in the car’s exterior. The color, which Peugeot calls Kryptonite, is a new signature hue that first appeared in the plug-in hybrid variant of the 508 called the 508 PSE (Peugeot Sport Engineering). That vehicle uses a plug-in hybrid powertrain that couples a 1.6-liter turbo-four to an 11.5-kWh battery, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and two electric motors. There’s an electric motor mounted on each axle, effectively giving the 508 PSE AWD. At 355 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque, the 508 PSE is the most powerful Peugeot model on sale.
Built as a collaboration between Peugeot designers and the engineers at Peugeot Sport, the 9X8 Hybrid Hypercar features a mid-engine layout with a 680-hp 2.6-liter twin-turbo V6 mounted behind the passenger cabin. In front, you’ll find an electric drive motor/generator with around 270 hp. In total, the system appears to be making 950 hp but it could be a little different because the calculation in how a hybrid makes its combined output is slightly different from internal combustion or pure battery-electric vehicle.
The design team used 3D tools and Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to develop the 9X8. This also enabled them to work even closer with their colleagues in engineering. Virtual reality visualization was also used extensively to develop the 9X8. The Peugeot 9X8 Hybrid Hypercar gives us a glimpse at the car that will mark the brand’s return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year and compete in the hypercar class. It will compete with entries like Toyota’s GR Super Sport race car.