Click above for a hi-res gallery of the Peugeot 908 HY

At the finale of the European Le Mans Series at Silverstone, Peugeot is rolling out the 908 HY, a hybrid version of the 908 HDi FAP that made the LMP1 battle at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans a very interesting affair. The 908 HY might well be what we see at Circuit de la Sarthe next June is the ACO regs for 2009 allow it.

Under that silver livery set off by blue lightning bolts, the 908 HY incorporates a KERS; a 60kW electric motor/generator; ten lithium ion battery packs split into two locations; and a power converter that manages the energy transfer between said battery packs and the electric motor. In addition to light-duty, EV-only operation, the 908 HY can run its diesel V12 solo or it can combine the two --- the electric motor's power can be summoned to provide added boost, either on demand or automatically. According to Peugeot, the electric motor supplies 80 more horsepower for 20 seconds or so. Oh, and lest we forget, the hybrid system also saves fuel without diminishing the 908's already impressive performance capabilities.

The Peugeots at Le Mans this summer were fast, but when the checkered flag waved, it was Audi atop the podium once again. You know French automaker desperately wants to win Le Mans and knock its German rival off the top step, and this evolution of the 908 HDi FAP might well be the car to do it -- if the rules let it in, and if it can hold up for the duration of the race. Here's hoping the 908 HY makes the cut in the eyes of the ACO, because watching Peugot go for the brass ring should provide plenty of excitement for motorsport aficionados. Thanks for the heads-up, Richard.

Related GalleryPeugeot 908 HY

[Source: Peugeot via Supercars.net]


PRESS RELEASE:
THE PEUGEOT 908 HDi FAP HYBRID

Peugeot Sport presented a 908 HDi FAP equipped with a hybrid power plant at the final round of the 2008 Le Mans Series at Silverstone, this weekend.

Peugeot Sport profited from the final round of the 2008 Le Mans Series at Silverstone to unveil a 908 HDi FAP equipped with a hybrid power plant, featuring a kinetic energy recovery system. The 908HY was presented in a new, specific silver-grey livery and will provide a foretaste of what Peugeot's next endurance racing challenger could resemble, although its use will depend on the regulations that will govern LMP 1 cars from 2009.

The 908 HDi FAP's "HY" technology enables a proportion of the kinetic energy produced under braking to be either recovered or stored. In the case of a non-hybrid car, this energy is lost and simply dissipated in the form of heat via the brakes. However, when harnessed, it enables the vehicle's efficiency to be improved in one of two ways:
  • Enhanced performance with no increase in the amount of energy consumed, thanks to the combination of the stored mechanical energy and the energy produced by the internal combustion engine
  • Reduced fuel consumption for the same level of performance, thanks to the availability of stored mechanical energy

The system featured on this demonstrator comprises three key elements:

1) A 60 kW gear-driven electric motor-generator which takes the place of the conventional starter motor

2) Batteries which permit recovered energy to be stored in 600 lithium-ion cells divided into 10 battery packs (six in the cockpit instead of the conventional battery and four on the left-hand side of the floor pan)

3) An electronic power converter (located in the rear part of the front left wing) which controls the flow of energy between the batteries and the motor-generator

The 908HY can be powered in one of three ways:
  • Electric mode only (e.g. in the pit-lane)
  • Internal combustion engine only
  • A combination of the two
  • In the course of a lap of Le Mans, for example, the system will recuperate energy for between 20 and 30 seconds. This energy reserve can be used for:
  • Either delivering extra power thanks to an additional boost of 60 kW (80 bhp) for approximately 20 seconds per lap, either automatically when re-accelerating or when the driver chooses to make use of it ('push to pass')
  • Or to reduce fuel consumption for the equivalent level of performance thanks to the mechanical energy recovered (between three and five per cent)
Michel Barge (Peugeot Sport, Director): "This hybrid 908 HDi FAP is in perfect keeping with the overall mission of our endurance racing programme which covers not only the challenge of competing, of course, but also the fact that as a car manufacturer we can use motor sport as a research and development tool for the Peugeot brand as a whole. After innovating through the use of our HDi FAP technology in competition, running a hybrid car in endurance racing would give Peugeot a chance to gain extremely valuable experience that would benefit the development of production cars. Whether we use this technology or not in 2009 will obviously depend on the details of the new regulations published by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest."