Peugeot Le Mans Hypercar Teased, Signaling High-Performance Road Car
PEUGEOT AND TOTAL ARE DEVELOPING A “HYPERCAR LE MANS”
As part of the 88th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, PEUGEOT and TOTAL are officially launching their Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) project. New regulations that herald a new era for the leading endurance category, which embodies the energizing transition of the two companies.
“Le Mans is the holy grail of the automotive world,” declares Jean Philippe IMPARATO, CEO of the PEUGEOT brand. It is the race that determines its winner. For us, this represents 3 victories but also sweat, tears and endless joy and an incredible team spirit with TOTAL, with whom we are celebrating 25 years of collaboration this year.
The choice of the LMH category was dictated by several criteria, one being that of a certain aerodynamic freedom. This makes it possible to integrate the aesthetic detail of the brand, with the support of PEUGEOT Design. This collaboration has already started and allows, within the framework of these 24 Hours of Le Mans 2020, to write sketches and reveal the first conceptions of the design and to embody the fundamental elements required, particularly in terms of dimensions.
PEUGEOT, in association with TOTAL, has therefore started to develop the hybrid electric hypercar, whose iconic design will declare “Neo Performance”. It will reach a power of 500 kW and will be 4-wheel drive.
After having launched the various phases of studies for the general structure, the aerodynamic concept and the choice of the engine architecture, comes the final decision of the electric frame, then that of the design of the hybrid powertrain. All PEUGEOT Sport technical departments are involved in these development phases.
PEUGEOT Sport is thus taking a new turn towards enhanced energy, reinforced by the launch of its PEUGEOT SPORT ENGINEERED high performance hybrid road line, driven by the new PEUGEOT 508.
Jean-Philippe Imparato, CEO of the PEUGEOT brand
“This category brings together our entire company and all our entities, with features and technologies similar to those of our production cars. With this commitment, PEUGEOT is opening a new register, that of neo performance. We are coming back to endurance because we have the opportunity to work on sport in a different way, with the hybridization of gas and electricity. PEUGEOT Sport changes its identity and launches its label of high-performance electrified vehicles; PEUGEOT SPORT ENGINEERED with its first 508: 360 model
power, 4 driving wheels and 46g of C02. This endurance program allows us to fully integrate into the energy transition.
Philippe Montanteme, Strategy / Marketing & Research Director TOTAL:
“We are celebrating 25 years of close collaboration between PEUGEOT and TOTAL, but also of strong involvement in motorsport. The competition, firmly anchored in our DNA, represents a real technical workshop on site for our respective brands. It is in these workshops that we can work together, in search of perpetual performance and efficiency, in order to share the best solutions and high performance sport products to our end customers. Today, the “Le Mans Hypercar” project offers us joint development possibilities on the entire car’s energy system; on the efficiency of our fuels – for all competitors, as an exclusive supplier – or for the lubricant, specially designed for hybrid vehicles. It will also allow TOTAL and SAFT to study new battery solutions alongside PEUGEOT. TOTAL is today a multi-energy company that responds to all mobility requests while remaining a pioneer. The “Le Mans Hypercar” perfectly embodies this.
Olivier Jansonnie, Technical Director of the PEUGEOT Sport WEC program:
“The car will be 4-wheel drive, equipped – in accordance with regulations – with an electric motor and a maximum power of 200 kW on the front axle. The TOTAL power level will be identical to that of a 100% thermal 2-wheel drive car (500kW or approximately 680hp) which will be distributed between the 2 axles. Compared to what is currently known in LMP1, the car will be heavier to be compatible with road vehicles. It will also be longer (5m ald 4.65m) and wider (2m ald 1.90m).
This regulation is also different because it integrates a balance of performance (BoP: Balance of Performance). It certainly sets limits, but also leaves room for many technical possibilities in our development, particularly in terms of general shape, on condition that we do not exceed a certain overall aerodynamic efficiency. This will be measured in a 1: 1 scale wind tunnel which will be part of the BOP.
To date, we have confirmed part of the aerodynamic concept, the engine frame has been decided and we have chosen the functionality of the hybrid system and its fundamental design. We still have several stages left before our endurance debut in 2022, in studies, the production of prototypes and finally, the affirmation on the bench and on the track.
Matthias Hossann, PEUGEOT Design Director:
“The new Le Mans Hypercar category offers a historic and unprecedented opportunity for sports and design teams to collaborate. The regulations fully meet PEUGEOT’s need and appetite to embody its vision of the future in its next competition car: that of electric neo-performance.
The look of the vehicles will no longer be the result of wind tunnel sessions alone, we will have a dedicated space to create a unique and iconic product, combining performance and expressiveness. We intend to make the most of the leeway offered and we are very excited about this project! We are currently at the pre-project stage, that of studies and design.
We discussed the various regulation possibilities with the PEUGEOT Sport teams to make sure that we are fully aware of them. The rest of the project will be carried out in close collaboration between the two teams.
These sketches are the first design drafts meant to help us identify important segments that we should focus on. The three claw marks and the colors are symbols that we want to produce on our hypercar. Our signature, found in light prints, is one of the strong identity emblems present on our production vehicles and which we wish to reproduce in the race.