Thursday, 10 February 2011 06:30
Page 1 of 2Last week in Paris, Peugeot Sport unveiled their new 908 endurance racing car which they will campaign in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours and the ILMC.
Peugeot Sport has a busy 2011 ahead of it with the launch of its all new Peugeot 908 and a comprehensive endurance racing programme.
After a strong season in 2011, which saw it claim the inaugural Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) title, Peugeot Sport will be looking to defend its crown, although the highlight of the season will again be the Le Mans 24 Hours (June 11-12).
The calendar for this year’s ILMC features seven races, including Le Mans which will carry double points. This year’s visit to Le Mans is also eagerly awaited as the recently introduced new technical regulations have given rise to a new generation of cars.
Peugeot’s all new car, built to the new technical regulations introduced for 2011, was originally given the code name 90X.
However, with the 908 HDi FAP helping Peugeot build up an enviable record of world class successes, including the title in the 2007 Le Mans Series, a one-two finish at Le Mans in 2009 and the inaugural ILMC crown in 2010 it was decided to keep the same name for the new car.
“We have chosen 908 as the name of the new car in order to build on the wave of success with which it is associated,” says Peugeot’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Xavier Peugeot.
“At the same time, the new car fits perfectly with the brands new modern image. It mirrors the modernity that is clearly visible in the new 508 and the recently announced new 308. At Peugeot, we have always sought to associate our commitment to motor sport with the real world and with our model range. The name 908 consequently stood out as the obvious choice.”
Following in the wake of the legendary Peugeot 905 and the 908 HDi FAP, the 908 is the third car to have been developed by Peugeot Sport for endurance racing.
Like the previous cars, its mission will be to extend Peugeot’s winning record at Le Mans which already stands at three wins, in 1992, 1993 and 2009.
The 908 complies with all the latest technical regulations and the new for 2011, “shark fin engine cover”, it is a closed cockpit car, with the same size front and rear wheels, and is powered by a new 3.7 litre V8 HDi FAP 550 bhp diesel engine.
It means Peugeot Sport will be competing in endurance racing for the fifth year running with a diesel engine equipped with a particulate filter (FAP).
Since 1998, more than seven million HDi diesel engines have been sold worldwide, helping Peugeot to earn a reputation as one of the largest producers of clean diesel power.
The 908 shares the same technology as is used in all Peugeot’s HDi diesel road cars, there is a very close collaboration between the group’s engineers and specialists and their counterparts at Peugeot Sport, to ensure that expertise in areas such as fuel consumption, respect for the environment and performance is shared between road cars and motor sport.
Immediately after the 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours, Peugeot Sport’s engineers started to put pen to paper to design a new car destined to comply with the new, upcoming technical regulations and also drew on all their experience and knowledge learned from the 908 HDi FAP.
“The regulations have evolved a great deal but we didn’t start with a clean sheet of paper,” notes Bruno Famin, Peugeot Sport’s Technical Director.
“The experience we have gained over the past four years helped to steer the decision making process and our technical choices, although the only component which has been carried over at the end of the day is the windscreen wiper! One of the principal challenges we faced was to design an all new car while continuing to race another at the same time. We also needed to set ourselves sound objectives with a view to obtaining the best possible package with regards to engine performance, aerodynamics and weight distribution.”