Peugeot has unveiled the car it hopes will re-exert its dominance at the Le Mans 24 Hour race. The Peugeot 908 V12 HDi was revealed at the Paris Motor Show last week.
The car is a lightweight HDi diesel built in carbon and with a closed top to comply with the new Le Mans regulations.
The 5.5-litre HDi FAP diesel engine sports 12 cylinders in a 100-degree V producing more than 700bhp. The car is built to the maximum capacity permitted by Le Mans regulations.
Two diesel (HDi) particulate filters at the end of each exhaust system mean smoke-free operation of the engine under all conditions. The particulate filters are available on all diesel models across the Peugeot range since 2000 and the launch of the 607 HDi, with the 1,000,000th filter produced in 2005.
Peugeot diesel technology is universally recognised, and the company has been producing diesel engines since 1928. Twelve years ago Peugeot scored a landmark 1-2-3 victory for its 905 sports car in the long distance Le Mans 24 Hour.
This was the make's second successive Le Mans victory. This legendary race, which every year attracts more than 200,000 spectators, will provide Peugeot with an opportunity to express fully the values enshrined in its philosophy. Excellence, demonstrated by endurance coupled with reliability; dynamism, emphasised by a team challenge based on performance; styling, illustrated by the car's feline profile, and finally innovation, expressed amongst other ways through the use of technology designed to protect the environment.
"The creation of the 908 cements the fact that Peugeot HDi diesel is a powerful fuel alternative to petrol engines. Not only do our HDi engines produce incredible torque and power - as the 908 will no doubt prove - but in your everyday Peugeot in NZ, this power is coupled with efficiency, frugality, economy and environmental friendliness." said Rod Cunningham, Marketing Manager for Sime Darby Automobiles NZ Ltd, the NZ concessionaire for Peugeot.
The monocoque body of the 908 is made of carbon fibre and is a truly closed structure, compared to the 905, which was a "racing car" with a detachable tubular rollover bar. This type of structure offers strong natural rigidity (the "eggshell" effect) and allows the weight of the monocoque body to be optimised.
Created from scratch at the beginning of 2006, Peugeot Sport's aerodynamics department had the difficult task of designing in just a few weeks an exterior body that was both original and aerodynamically efficient.
Three months after the appointment of the aerodynamics project team leader, a model of the car was undergoing its first tests in the wind tunnel. The car's overall shape results not only from the necessary compromise between aerodynamic efficiency and drag, but also the need to provide optimum airflow to the different radiators and intercoolers located within the generously dimensioned bodywork.
Peugeot is presently conducting bench tests on the car and expects to be on the track in November.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION OF THE PEUGEOT 908:
Rear central longitudinal position
All-aluminium with one-piece aluminium cylinder block
12 cylinders, V angle 100°
Capacity: 5.5 litre
Common rail high pressure direct injection (HDi)
Engine management system: Bosch MS17
Gearbox: longitudinal with a maximum of 6 gear ratios
Electro-pneumatic gearbox control
Suspension, steering, specs:
Linked front and rear suspension
Electric power steering
Wheels: BBS, magnesium
Length: 4,650 mm
Width: 2,000 mm
Minimum weight: 925 kg