When first announced, what excited us most about Peugeot’s Le Mans return was the prospect of 25 road cars being built to homologate the company’s new racer. The FIA/ACO’s rules originally stipulated that manufacturers could either modify an existing product or build a limited run of production models to enter the Hypercar category, but the regulations have since been relaxed. There’s now enough wiggle room for Peugeot to go a different route.
After revealing details of the powertrain it’ll be using in the World Endurance Championship car, Peugeot confirmed there will be no road car. It said:
“We are entering the Le Mans Hypercar category (called ‘’LMH’’) via building a 100% race prototype only. We are not due to build any road-car / road-hypercar model or to have any connection with a road model to get homologation of our race-car. Nonetheless, there are bridges between Peugeot Sport Engineered and the Peugeot endurance program.”
These “bridges” seem mostly related to the hybrid setup in the Peugeot 508 Sport Engineered, and it sounds as though there’s some crossover in terms of the engineering teams behind each project.
As for the racing car, its primary source of propulsion is a newly designed 90-degree 2.6-litre twin-turbo V6, which on its own is good for 671bhp. It’s a light engine, weighing just 165kg. A single-turbo setup was considered, but that wasn’t compatible with Peugeot‘s centre of gravity target. The mid-mounted powerplant feeds the rear wheels exclusively via a seven-speed sequential gearbox.
Driving the front axle will be a motor-generator unit powered by a high-density battery pack, with the output limited to 269bhp/200kW as dictated by the regulations. The driver will be able to play around with both the braking forces from the motor unit and the physical brakes. Energy recuperation under braking will also keep the battery topped up.
Peugeot will be entering the World Endurance Championship in 2022, although at the moment, the French manufacturer isn’t saying if it’ll join from the opening round or part-way through. It’ll be competing initially against LMH entrants from Toyota and Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus (with both projects spawning road cars), with Porsche entering the fray in the IMSA-shared LMDh category the following year. Audi is also preparing an LMDh car, although a debut year hasn’t yet been disclosed.