Peugeot’s sensational return to Le Mans is edging closer. The manufacturer - which won the 24-hour race twice with the 905 in the early 90s and once again with the 908 in 2009 - confirmed last year it’ll be competing in the World Endurance Championship from 2022, and now, we have a car to look at.
Well, kind of - you can just about make out a rendered impression of the car in these new, darkened images. It’ll be competing in the newly created ‘Hypercar’ class, and that means Peugeot Sport will need to build a small batch of road cars to homologate its new creation.
Inevitably, it’s quite unlike anything else Peugeot has released for street use. There are nods to the road cars, though, in the form of the claw-like front and rear light elements. It’ll have a combustion engine (presumably fueled by petrol, unlike Peugeot’s old diesel prototype sports cars) powering the rear wheels and a 286bhp electric motor for the front axle. This will give a defacto all-wheel drive system and a total output of around 680bhp.
As is the norm for a top-flight racing sports car, the as-yet-unnamed creation has a fighter-jet style bubble cockpit, bulging wheel arches and a suitably large rear wing. As the Hypercar rules have allowed for larger cars that we’ve seen in the WEC LMP1 class lately, the Peugeot is 350mm longer and 100mm wider than the outgoing rules allow.
Beyond that, Peugeot isn’t saying a whole lot. It’s early days for the project, and the French company will be joining later than confirmed Hypercar class entrants Toyota and Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, who’ll both be racing from the 2021/2022 season. As Aston Martin prepares to become a full F1 works team via the rebrand of Racing Point, its future in the programme with the Valkyrie hypercar is in doubt, with the company announcing its withdrawal for the next season as it seeks to “reconsider” its options.