If there is a body element that defines a race car of any other for more than 60 years is the spoiler. More discreet, like a ‘duck tail’ or ‘Gurney flap’, or ultra complex like today, a racing car without a spoiler is incomprehensible.
And yet Peugeot will compete in LMH with a with Peugeot 9X8 no spoiler There were still doubts as to whether the absence of a spoiler was just to create expectation and that in the end, the French brand would have to equip the 9X8 with a spoiler. But no, it’s official, the Peugeot 9X8 will run without a spoiler.
Peugeot will debut in the WEC at Monza
The 9X8 is finally ready for competition. And this is its definitive version, which will pass the homologation of the FIA and the ACO. And indeed, it does not have a visible rear spoiler.
The Peugeot Sport team announced on Friday that the 9X8 will make its racing debut in July, at the 6 hours of the World Endurance Championship in Monza, the WEC, and presented the final version of the 9X8 to the media at the Portimao circuit (Portugal). And it is one of the most beautiful and cool racing cars on the scene.
And it is that Peugeot goes against the current of what is established and usual. The absence of a spoiler is a breath of fresh air in the competition. On the one hand, on an aesthetic level it is original and on the circuit it will be easily identifiable in a multitude of more or less identical cars.
And on the other hand it responds to that old idea that the competition has to be a laboratory of ideas and solutions, where manufacturers expand the limits of what can be done.
The theory is known, the car itself is a wing and does not need a spoiler, but on a technical and practical level it is more complicated, ask Mark Webberwhose Mercedes literally took off and looped around the Le Mans 24 Hours circuit in practice.
A hidden adjustable spoiler
This atypical Peugeot solution has been made possible by the “balance of performance” of the new Hypercar category, whose aerodynamic load and drag ceilings (among other things) are lower than those of the previous LMP1.
The regulations only allow one adjustable aerodynamic element, which allows the balance to change from one race to another. But since the 9X8 doesn’t have a classic spoiler, Peugeot Sport had to come up with another way. It is only known that it is located under the car, rather in the front area of the flat bottom and that, therefore, it is not visible.
Still, it’s still a long shot for engineers. In fact, Peugeot originally intended to participate in the 2022 24 Hours of Le Mans (next month), but earlier this year decided to delay the debut of the 9X8 to ensure its reliability before approval. And it is that they were not at all clear that going without a spoiler was in practice a good idea. In the end, Peugeot opted to do more circuit testing and make the car more reliable.
This move will give the Peugeot Sport team close to a year of competition in training before the main event, where it will face the established LMH of Toyota and Glickenhaus, the new Ferrari and the LMDh of Porsche, BMW, Lamborghini and Cadillac. And it is that if a title in WEC is good, the reality is that all the teams, deep down, take the WEC as a training for Le Mans. In the end, the title that counts is the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
A 707 hp hybrid system
On an aesthetic level, few things have changed in the 9X8 since its first appearances, only details have changed, such as the roof air intake. The Peugeot 9X8 is exactly 4,995mm long, 2,000mm wide and 1,145 mm high and weighs 1,030kgthe minimum required by the regulations.
The engine is a 2.6-liter twin-turbo 90° V6 with 680 hp. This power is sent to the rear wheels, while a 272 hp electric motor drives the front axle on which it is mounted. It is an engine created ex profeso by Marelli. In total, the 9X8 has 707 hp at its disposal. The set is associated with a 7-speed sequential gearbox and a 900 V battery.
The regulations impose a maximum combined power of 680 hp and the race management monitors in real time the power management of each car. However, if the battery is empty, the regulation allows the engine to exceed 3% of the power limit to recharge the battery and with a maximum power of 15 kW (20.7 CV) in a straight line.
We will be able to see the Peugeot 9X8 debut in competition on July 10, 2022 at the Monza circuit. It can also be seen in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year, but not on track. Peugeot will have it exposed, to create expectation.