Peugeot on Wednesday provided a first look at its contender for the new Hypercar class of the World Endurance Championship, which includes the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Peugeot has a long and successful history at Le Mans, especially with its 908 line of sports prototypes, but for its comeback it will team up with Swiss privateer Rebellion Racing. Peugeot last competed in top-level endurance racing in 2012.
The Hypercar class is slated to replace the current LMP1 category of prototypes atop the WEC speed hierarchy starting in the 2020/2021 season, though Peugeot's contender won't hit the track until 2022, suggesting a 2022/2023 season entry.
The class calls for cars with a hybrid system comprising a front-axle electric motor-generator and a rear-axle combustion engine. The electric motor-generator can develop a maximum of 268 horsepower, while the internal-combustion engine is capped at 680 horses.
While the cars in this class will be technological showcases, they are still subject to homologation rules, unlike the old LMP1-class entries. A minimum of 25 road cars equipped with the same powertrain must be produced by the second year of competition. For following years, that number bumps to 100. This means that Peugeot will have to introduce a road-going variant of its hypercar racer no later than the end of 2023.
With this announcement, Peugeot is merely the latest to throw its hat in the new Hypercar class ring. The first to sign on was Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, which is building a new car in partnership with engineering house Podium Technology.
Toyota and Aston Martin have also committed to the Hypercar class, with Toyota to race a car based on its GR Super Sport concept from 2018 and Aston Martin a version of its Valkyrie. Other hopefuls include Koenigsegg and McLaren F1 visionary Gordon Murray.
Peugeot's announcement brings with it hope that the merger of FCA and PSA will put a renewed priority on motorsports.