Peugeot steps up 9X8 preparations to FIA WEC 2022
PEUGEOT TotalEnergies’ has ramped up its preparations, both on the racetrack and in the simulator, for the entry of its revolutionary 9X8 to the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship. But will that be with or without a rear wing?
The car’s early track tests were conducted in close to its original launch configuration, without a rear wing, relying on the generation of underbody downforce. “This configuration is permitted by the ACO/FIA hypercar regulations,” said Olivier Jansonnie, the Technical Director of the WEC programme. “Our calculations and wind tunnel work have confirmed the pertinence of our decision to run without a rear wing. Along with the developments and settings this option calls for, we expect it to be validated as we test at different circuits with differing characteristics.”
With the clock ticking down to the 9X8’s race debut, the team has successfully kept to its original roadmap and several key phases have already been completed: the first dyno test of the bi-turbo V6 engine took place last April; the 9X8’s 200 kW motor-generator unit was bench-tested in November; the complete powertrain in four-wheel drive mode was bench-tested in December; the maiden track run was also conducted before Christmas.
The team will not race in Sebring’s season-opener. Nor has it yet committed to when its first race will be. Given that the homologation submitted to the sport’s governing body will apply until 2025, it is imperative that the car’s specification is frozen only when the engineers are satisfied.
“The 9X8 will make its race debut based on its level of readiness, reliability and competitiveness as agreed with the championship’s organisers, who we will keep regularly updated as our development programme progresses,” said Stellantis Motorsport Director Jean-Marc Finot.
The 9X8 combines a rear-mounted 2.6-litre bi-turbo petrol V6 that delivers more than 500 kW (680 hp), a front-mounted 200 kW motor-generator unit, all-wheel drive transmission and a high-density battery developed jointly by Peugeot Sport, TotalEnergies and its subsidiary Saft.