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The new Peugeot 9X8 Le Mans car has been revealed – and it now has a rear wing

The 9X8 will compete in the Le Mans Hypercar class this year, sporting a heavily revised aero philosophy

The WEC Hypercar class is hotting up in 2024, with major manufacturers such as Lamborghini, Porsche, BMW and Toyota primed to go head-to-head at some of the world’s most prestigious endurance races. Peugeot is pinning its hopes on this – the new 9X8 Hypercar – to claim victory at Le Mans for the first time since 2009. 

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The 9X8 first made headlines in 2021, when it arrived sporting a radical ground-effect focused design without a rear wing. This year, Peugeot has heavily updated the 9X8 to take advantage of the latest Hypercar regulations, which has necessitated the fitment of a rear wing to align more closely with competitor cars. 

According to Peugeot Sport Technical Director Olivier Jansonnie, the aero philosophy of the original 9X8 was built around the 2020/2021 WEC regulations, but a rule change has since prevented it from maximising its potential with regard to Balance-of-Performance (BOP) restrictions. ‘The idea was to go back to a car design that is similar to that of our rival’s car designs, so that it would then be given equivalent treatment by the BOP. Strictly speaking, it’s not a new car, as it has the same chassis, but there are a lot of upgrades.’

The 9X8 now runs a staggered tyre setup, moving from 310mm rubber all-round to 290mm front and 340mm rear. The mass distribution throughout the car has been altered to suit the new setup, and 90 per cent of the 9X8’s bodywork has been redesigned to improve its aero balance. This has included the fitment of a rear wing, where the old 9X8 relied more on underbody airflow to meet the WEC’s prescribed downforce-to-drag ratio. 

The revised 9X8 has also received a series of smaller reliability and performance upgrades in Peugeot’s bid to return to winning ways in top-flight endurance racing. The last time the French firm took victory at Le Mans was in 2009, when the 908 HDi became the second-ever diesel-powered racer to win the event. The new 9X8 will hit the track for the first time at the 6 Hours of Imola next month.

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