HERE IT IS! THE PEUGEOT 9X8 HYPERCAR WILL MAKE ITS RACING DEBUT ON JULY 10TH IN ITALY!
Eleven months after the presentation of its model, the PEUGEOT 9X8 has been revealed in its final version, and with its definitive livery. The verdict: it is still as beautiful and as different as ever from its competitors! Since December and under various camouflages, it has endured 10,000 km of tests on several European tracks. 10,000 km is a lot for a racing car!
With just a few more test sessions to go, the PEUGEOT Hybrid Hypercar will be ready for the race. It will make its first competitive appearance on July 10th, 2022, at Monza (Italy), during the 4th round of the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) . The PEUGEOT TotalEnergies team has chosen this temple of speed to demonstrate and confirm the 9X8's extraordinary skills.
COMPETITION AS A TECHNOLOGICAL LABORATORY
This car has come a long way since the project was decided on in 2020 and was initially created entirely on Peugeot Sport's computers. Indeed, before any part was built, the PEUGEOT 9X8 was a virtual project consisting of 15,267 digital files stored on a hard disk!
The final design and race livery of the PEUGEOT 9X8 was unveiled live on May 20th at a press conference held at the Portimao circuit in Portugal. The 9X8 is immediately recognisable due to its lack of a rear spoiler, an aerodynamic appendage first introduced on a race car at the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans, and which quickly became a must for all competition cars. "We were able to see during our test sessions that all the calculations and simulations we had carried out before building our car were correct," says Olivier Jansonnie, Technical Director of Peugeot Sport. "We wanted to innovate, and very early on we imagined this PEUGEOT 9X8 without a rear wing. We can see that, in terms of aerodynamics, it works perfectly.
"It's amazing what you've done," said a journalist in Portimao at the race car presentation. "When in July 2021 you showed us the model announcing the 9X8, I honestly thought that it was a bluff, mainly to attract attention, and that you would go back to the good old spoiler with the race car, like everyone else. But no! There it is, almost like the model! In terms of innovation, what you have done is impressive! Hats off to you, PEUGEOT!
A TEAM WITH COMPLEMENTARY SKILLS
PEUGEOT Sport controls the design and development of the 9X8 from A to Z. This is not the case for all its competitors in endurance racing: some buy the electrical systems and chassis from suppliers with only the combustion engine coming from their workshops . For PEUGEOT, mastery of all areas is essential. "We are involved in endurance racing to accelerate our progress in the electrification of our road cars", explains Jean-Marc Finot, Director of Peugeot Sport and Stellantis Motorsport, "so we were not going to leave this crucial part of our car to others. On the other hand, we are enriching our skills thanks to partners with unparalleled expertise. They allow us to accelerate our development and the efficiency of our system.
Over the past few months, the team has therefore attracted additional partners to design and develop the 9X8. For example, Marelli is involved in the optimisation of the PEUGEOT 9X8's complex hybrid drivetrain’s efficiency. The high voltage battery is developed with ACC, joint venture between Stellantis and TotalEnergies/Saft, and the tyres are supplied by Michelin. Capgemini has optimised the efficiency and processing of the thousands of data points with the addition of artificial intelligence. The team's safety equipment is designed by the Italian brand Sparco, and each team member benefits from an official outfit specially designed by the young Danish brand Jack & Jones.
SIX DRIVERS TO DEFEND THE PEUGEOT COLOURS
On July 10th, 6 drivers will make up the two crews competing in the 6 Hours of Monza:
Paul Di Resta (ECO) has been involved in many disciplines including Formula 1
Loïc Duval (FRA) has already driven for Peugeot during the 908 era at the end of the 2000s, and won Le Mans with Audi
Mikkel Jensen (DAN), the youngest member of the team, is no less ambitious
Gustavo Menezes (USA/BRA) is a young driver who is used to endurance and driving hypercars
James Rossiter (GBR) is the development driver for the 9X8 and was the first to drive it. He is now also a race driver
Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) is somewhat at home at Peugeot Sport: a two-time Formula E champion, he is also the DS team driver in the discipline
Each of the drivers spent the equivalent of 30 days in the Peugeot Sport simulators to master all the secrets of the 9X8 before driving it on track. "The steering wheel is not just a guidance tool," explains Gustavo Menezes. "It is full of around 30 controls buttons that you have to know perfectly well and use at the right moment during practice and then during the race. The simulator sessions allow us to get used to it and, once on the track, to make the right manoeuvres at the right spot. We are very well prepared and we are now ready to go back on track and face our competitors.
It remains to be decided which drivers will make up the two cars entered at Monza. And to carry out a few more tests before the baptism of fire.
After Italy, the PEUGEOT 9X8 will race in September at the 6 hours of Fuji, then at the 8 hours of Bahrain, in November.