At the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, Peugeot uncovered its new 908 HYbrid4, a diesel-hybrid endurance race car designed to compete in the 2012 edition of the 24 hours of Le Mans. Starting from 2011, regulations for the Le Mans race make hybrid vehicles eligible for top honors, with the objective being to encourage makers in developing hybrid race cars that can challenge the supremacy of diesel-powered Audis.
Even though the new 908 hybrid will not be entered in this year's Le Mans race – since the French car maker has already presented the diesel-powered 908 in February – Peugeot has big plans for its “eco-friendly” race car.
Designed to comply with the latest endurance racing regulations, the 908 Hybrid4 will play a major role in Peugeot's 2011 environmental strategy. The hybrid system uses the same 550 hp V8-diesel engine as the conventional 908, but adds an extra 80 hp boost thanks to an electric motor powered from the stored kinetic energy generated under braking. For short periods of time, the extra power is released automatically to the rear wheels under acceleration. The recovered energy (500 kJ between two braking phases) is stored in lithium-ion batteries and the system will allow for powering the car in electric mode only while in the pit-lane.
The first track test of the 908 HYbrid is scheduled for the end of March, with Peugeot aiming to run the car at the official pre-Le Mans 24 Hours test day on April 24.
By Dan Mihalascu
Peugeot 908 HYbrid4 – Technical Data
Chassis: Carbon monocoque
Gearbox: Sequential, hydraulic, six forward speeds plus reverse
Internal combustion engine: Diesel, V8 HDi FAP
Cubic capacity: 3.7 litres
Power: 550 horsepower
Power: 60kW (80hp), during energy delivery phases only
Delivery of recovered energy:
To the rear wheels;
500kJ between two braking phases;
Energy stored in lithium-ion batteries;
Automatic delivery of energy under acceleration (no "push to pass" function). It is also possible to use the electric mode only along the pit lane.