The drip drip ‘reveal’ for the Peugeot 908 prototype
racer continued today with the unveiling by Peugeot’s Managing
Director Frédéric Saint Geours, at the Paris Motor
Show, of a full scale mock-up of the HDI diesel engined-car which
will contest the full 2007 Le Mans Series and, of course, will mark
the return of a factory Peugeot team at Le Mans for the first time
since their last win in 1993.
The 908 had long been rumoured to be a closed coupe
and indeed the first images show that the Peugeot will be the first
GTP spec car since the 2003 race winning Bentley.
Peugeot’s choice to campaign a closed car
marks a desire within the company to maintain a visual link with
the two-times Le Mans 24 Hour winning Peugeot 905. The 908 though
is a carbon monocoqued closed structure, unlike the 905 which was
constructed with a detachable tubular rollover bar.
Peugeot say that the 908’s layout presents
both a number of drawbacks (weight, height of the centre of gravity,
operational problems) and some advantages, particularly in terms
of chassis rigidity and aerodynamics.
Peugeot has also announced an impressive list of
sponsors for the Le Mans Series programme with Total, Michelin,
Bosch, Eurodatacar, and Xbox all already signed as commercial partners.
Further details have also been announced of the
100° 5.5 litre V12 powerplant:
The engine is at the maximum capacity permitted
by the regulations and was chosen thanks to its greater internal
airflow at low engine speeds. It also gives potential future development
opportunities to use different grade fuels.
The choice of a twelve cylinder engine helps keep
the cylinder bore diameter very close to that of a production series
engine. In doing so, Peugeot can call on its extensive knowledge
of diesel combustion and also ensure the engine has a reasonable
piston stroke. The V12 architecture, well known for its good balance,
also reduces vibrations to a minimum.
The 100° V angle, like the V12 architecture,
makes it possible to lower the height of the centre of gravity without
affecting the engine’s torsional rigidity.
Two diesel particulate filters are located at the
end of each exhaust system and
guarantee “smoke-free” operation of the engine under
The two exhaust systems are as short as possible.
On each side a 6 into 1 exhaust manifold is connected to a Garrett
turbocharger, then to a very compact diesel particulate filter before
ending in a side exhaust pipe, located in front of the rear wheel.
If the finished
article matches up to the mock-up shown today, the Le Mans Series,
and the 24 Hours itself, will host a new and beautiful addition
to the grid in 2007.