Saturday, November 6, 2010

Meet the 90X, Peugeot’s Next Le Mans Contender

Say bonjour to Peugeot Sport's next generation racing car, currently codenamed 90X. Set to compete in the 2011 racing season, the 90X will replace the four-year-old 908 HDi, which took first place in the 24h of Le Mans in 2008.

Peugeot had entered four 908 prototypes at this year's edition of the Le Mans, but while the racers took the top four spots in the qualifying round, all four cars had problems and were retired before the end of the race. This was the first time that none of the Peugeot 908s finished the 24-hour classic. So now, the French carmaker is preparing its successor that has just completed its first track test.

"Our objective was to start track testing before the end of the year," says Peugeot Sport Director Olivier Quesnel. "I am pleased to report that we have now done that. Even so, there is still a long way to go and a considerable amount of work to be done as we prepare for 2011."

The new car meets ACO's 2011 regulations and is also a closed cockpit model, meeting the mandatory 900 kg (1,984 lbs) weight limit. A new safety feature has been incorporated in the design, a "shark fin" placed on the engine cover, meant to prevent the car from becoming airborne in the case of a high-speed spin.

"We are still exploring several options with regard to the engine and technology we will use," Bruno Famin, the Technical Director of Peugeot Sport, pointed out. "Work on the engine's development is ongoing. Endurance racing is an ideal proving ground to provide us with the opportunity to showcase all the brand's technologies" he added.

By Csaba Daradics