Much more than a racing car, the PEUGEOT 9X8 is already an iconic object, an aesthetic and technical revolution, an ultimate design adventure. Matthias Hossann, PEUGEOT Design Director, has placed it in brutalist architecture before it tackles Endurance race tracks in 2022. This was an opportunity for the fashion and supercar photographer Agnieszka Doroszewicz, to play with the light and the concrete’s contrasts. Her photographs are a metaphor for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a mythical race in which the light changes as the hours go by.
To create the new 9X8 Hybrid Hypercar, the PEUGEOT Design team went hard out. They imbued it with all the contemporary aesthetic codes specific to the marque: a feline stance, fluid lines enhanced by signs of sportiness, sleek and structured flanks and, of course, the characteristic three-clawed luminous signature of the Lion. Slim and sleek, the PEUGEOT 9X8 arouses emotion and embodies speed.
Designing a racing car is an ultimate dream of every automobile designer. The probability of that dream ever coming true was up until now close to zero: rather than the marque’s style and identity, performance was the prime consideration, so much so that racing cars had become morphologically almost indistinguishable from one another. The designers’ work was limited to small details and the livery.
“The PEUGEOT 9X8 was born along with the DNA of the new Hypercar regulations (LMH) wanted by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the organiser of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Fédération internationale de l’Automobile, presenting the fundamental traits of a PEUGEOT. This car will stand as a milestone in the history of Endurance racing.”, says Matthias Hossann, PEUGEOT Design Director.
Another distinctive sign of PEUGEOT’s expertise and style is evident in the 9X8’s cabin which is based on the marque’s characteristic i-Cockpit concept. Just as for a series model project, the care taken with the interior design was matched only by the demanding level of requirement for the exterior: the driver and the fans in front of their screens must feel as though they are in a PEUGEOT beyond any shade of a doubt. Moreover, the entire PEUGEOT 9X8 cockpit was designed to provide the highest degree of ergonomics and intuitiveness for drivers.
2. NO WING
The most striking feature of this concept, and one that for many sums it up, is the absence of a rear wing, which gives it its unique morphology.
When the PEUGEOT 9X8 was created, a huge amount of effort was put into the rear end. Following the original sketch of a somewhat lunging car, a slightly pointed cabin appeared, along with the very particular wrap that we see today over the rear wheel.
3. ELECTRIC PEUGEOT 9X8!
PEUGEOT has already won at Le Mans with two cars of two different generations: the 905 with a V10 petrol engine in 1992 and 1993, and the 908 with a V12 HDi-FAP engine in 2009. Once again, it is with the technology used that the PEUGEOT 9X8 marks the beginning of a new era.
For its four-wheel drive hybrid propulsion, the PEUGEOT 9X8 has certain similarities with several models in the PEUGEOT range, such as the PEUGEOT 3008 or the PEUGEOT 508. It combines a V6 2.6-litre twin-turbocharged 500 kW (680 HP) internal combustion engine at the rear with a 200 kW (270 HP) electric motor/generator in the front.
4. VIRTUAL DESIGN OF PEUGEOT 9X8
The PEUGEOT Design team also called on leading-edge technology. To create the volumes, the designers use 3D tools and CAD (Computer Aided Design). With this technology, it is also easy to share files with the engineering teams. Once the volumes are in place, then comes the virtual reality stage where a a virtual reality headset was used to show the complete Peugeot 9X8 to the engineering team.
To ensure that the PEUGEOT 9X8 is unlike any other and can be easily identified day and night by everyone, the PEUGEOT Design team added luminous components to the work on the silhouette. For the light signature, the three claws – present on all of PEUGEOT’s current production cars – was the obvious choice. Putting them on the front of the 9X8 Hypercar was not a hassle, but putting them on the rear required a lot of work. And integration of the three light claws in separate composite components created gaps through which air is extracted.