Now with extra wings: the 2024 Peugeot 9X8 is here

Published: 26 March 2024 Updated: 26 March 2024

Peugeot’s new racer hits the track in April 2024
Features four-wheel drive and hybrid power
Takes advantage of new rule set

You’re looking at the Peugeot 9X8, remade for the 2024 season. As you’d expect, it’s had a few upgrades since it was first revealed in 2022, the most obvious of which is an all-new rear wing. That’s right, Peugeot has made an aerodynamic U-turn and now placed a massive wing on the back of its otherwise extremely slick racer. To be fair, it does look quite good still.

9x8 peugeot

Why the change? 

The original Peugeot 9X8 was designed to work with technical regulations first created in 2020/2021 but as is the case in many motorsport series, these were a moving target. With that in mind, when the real car launched, it wasn’t exactly making use of the new regulations in their entirety. The 2024 goes the extra mile. 

‘We made choices that are no longer the right ones now and this difference in performance was not sufficiently offset by the BOP (Balance of Performance) in 2023,’ said Peugeot’s Sport’s Technical Director Olivier Jansonnie. ‘The idea was therefore to go back to a car design that is similar that of our rival’s car design, 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,’ he added. And in order to have a better aerodynamic balance, we also had to look at redistributing the aerodynamic loads, which resulted in us redesigning approximately 90% of the bodywork components, most notably adding the rear wing.

Peugeot engineers have also used the opportunity to improve the performance and reliability of the 9X8 too. 

When will it race? The 2023 car just completed its final performance at the opening round of the WEV championship in Qatar. The 2024 car will make its debut in round 2 at Monza next month.

The powertrain

There’s a 697bhp twin-turbocharged 2.6-litre V6 engine powering the rear wheels and 268bhp electric motor driving the fronts. Peugeot also tells us that the 9X8’s hybrid system has been developed using expertise gained from its road cars – and that the knowledge gained from this racing project will be fed back into its production vehicles.

Jackson says this two-way engineering exchange is already well underway. “Even before the Peugeot 9X8 makes its race debut,” she said, “the programme’s engineers have already carried over its hybrid system to one of our road cars – the Peugeot 508 Sport Engineered. And other examples are similarly in the pipeline.”

Peugeot 9X8 powertrain

Peugeot pieced together the 9X8’s powertrain with help from Saft and Total Energies. The former company provided a 900-volt battery pack to power the electric motor, while the latter has developed a 100% renewable fuel to power the petrol engine, made from wine residues. Total says the fuel will account for a 65% reduction in the 9X8’s CO2 emissions.

So the 9X8 has almost 1,000bhp, right?

Wrong. The new WEC rules restrict the car’s output to 500kW (around 670bhp) at all times. That means, when the 200kW electric motor is engaged, the petrol engine can produce no more than 300kW. Further rules dictate that the electric motor can only be engaged above 74.6mph – except in the pits, where speed is restricted to just 37.2mph.

If that wasn’t complicated enough, there’s a further rule that allows the combustion portion of the hypercar’s hybrid powertrain to produce 515kW (691bhp). However, this is only allowed at the end of the straights, when the battery has been depleted.

Peugeot 9X8 rear three quarter

Like an F1 car’s hybrid system, the Peugeot 9X8’s electric motor features an energy recuperation system that tops the battery up with electricity each time the driver steps on the brake pedal. The friction brakes are another innovation, as there’s no physical connection between the pedal and the discs – it’s completely fly by wire.

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's Digital Editor, F1 and sim-racing enthusiast. Partial to clever tech and sports bikes