Peugeot, a third-time Le Mans winner, is returning to endurance racing with a hybrid prototype
by Ciprian Florea, on
French automaker Peugeot has introduced its return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a hybrid prototype. Powered by a gasoline-electric powertrain that generates as much as 939 horsepower, the hybrid is being developed in cooperation with oil firm Total, Peugeot’s historic motorsport accomplice. Peugeot will return to Le Mans in 2022, 10 years after its final race at Circuit de la Sarthe.
While its earlier Le Mans racers, the 905 and 908, featured V-8 and V-12 energy, the upcoming hybrid will incorporate a V-6 mill.
It’s a newly developed, twin-turbo 2.6-liter engine that generates as much as 680 horsepower.
The mid-rear-mounted V-6 shall be paired to a front-mounted motor generator unit good for 272 horsepower. Like all opponents on this class, the Peugeot hybrid will function all-wheel drive. The hybrid powertrain will mate to a sequential seven-speed gearbox.
|Engine||2.6-litre, twin-turbo, V-6|
|Electric powertrain||front-mounted motor generator unit|
|Electric horsepower||272 HP|
|Overall output||939 LB-FT|
The total output of the combo is rated at 939 horsepower, however the drivers will not have entry to that a lot energy through the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
That’s as a result of FIA rules state that every automotive on this class should not exceed 670 horsepower. As a outcome, Peugeot will restrict the engine’s output to 408 horsepower, whereas the electrical motor will solely work at speeds above 75 mph. The FIA will enable Peugeot to run the V-6 at full energy solely on the finish of straights when the battery is empty. That’s when the electrical motor will put out solely 20 horsepower for a complete output of 700 horses.
Granted, the race automotive will nonetheless be impressively quick at Circuit de la Sarthe, however it’ll run effectively beneath its functionality.
The electrical motor is powered by a quick-charging, high-capacity battery co-developed by Peugeot Sport and Saft, a Total subsidiary. Peugeot claims that the design combines sturdiness with constant efficiency and permits the battery pack to ship most energy faster than different sources.
When will the Peugeot hybrid race automotive hit the monitor?
Peugeot will start testing the hybrid in the actual world on the finish of 2021. For now, the race automotive continues to be being engineered and examined on the bench and within the simulator, a course of that may proceed by way of the primary half of 2021. The automotive will make its official racing debut through the 2022 World Endurance Championship season within the LMH class. Short of Le Mans Hypercar, this class replaces Le Mans Prototypes and contains bespoke designs with out homologation requirement. A Balance of Performance system just like the one utilized by the GTE class shall be utilized to make sure parity between hybrid and non-hybrid fashions.
Peugeot will compete towards Toyota and Scuderia Glickenhaus on this class. Aston Martin additionally introduced plans to enter the sequence with a race automotive based mostly on the Valkyrie.
Peugeot historical past at Le Mans
Peugeot’s presence at 24 Hours of Le Mans could be traced again to 1926, however the model’s first notable efficiency got here in 1937 by way of Emile Darl’mat. A Peugeot seller who began customizing varied fashions within the 1920, Darl’mat satisfied Peugeot to construct a small sequence of race vehicles based mostly on the 402 and run them at Le Mans. Three vehicles have been entered in 1937 and all of them took the checkered flag in seventh, eighth, and tenth place. Darl’mat return at Circuit de la Sarthe in 1938 and took fifth place. Domination from Bentley, Alfa Romeo, and Bugatti adopted by the outbreak of World War II saved Peugeot away from new success and it took the French model a number of a long time to return as a prime contender at Le Mans.
It occurred in 1990, when Peugeot got here up with the 905, a full-blown prototype powered by a 3.5-liter V-10 engine. Although it failed to complete in its maiden Le Mans outing in 1991, the 905 returned with a vengeance and took the outright win in 1992 and 1993. Peugeot retired from endurance racing on the finish of 1993 so as to give attention to Formula One and rallying, however returned in 2007 with a brand new prototype.
Now utilizing a 5.5-liter V-12 diesel engine, Peugeot tackled the 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans with the 90 HDi FAP. The French proved aggressive from their first outing, taking second place at Circuit de la Sarthe. The following yr, Peugeot scored second- and third-place finishes however misplaced the win for the second time to Audi. Third time was a attraction and Peugeot received at Le Mans in 2009, additionally scoring its third outright win within the course of. The French workforce returned for the fourth time in 2010, however all three vehicles failed to complete the race regardless of setting the quickest qualifying occasions. 2011 was Peugeot’s ultimate yr at Le Mans. Having switched to a brand new 3.7-liter V-8 diesel, the French completed second and third behind Audi.
Although it had developed a brand new model of the 908 plus a hybrid variant of the identical automotive for the 2012 season, Peugeot canceled its racing program because of poor monetary efficiency in 2011.
Ciprian’s ardour for every little thing with 4 wheels (and extra) began again when he was just a bit boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was nonetheless the good automotive poster you might cling in your wall. Ciprian’s profession as a journalist started lengthy earlier than incomes a Bachelor’s diploma, however it was solely after graduating that his love for vehicles grew to become a occupation.
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