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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.

[Source: Peugeot via Supercars.net]


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."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I suppose that an additional 80hp coming out of the corners would be worth it, depending on the weight. Sounds like mostly propaganda to me, though.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If KERS turns out to be advantageous, I'm sure it'll spread to all cars in F1 in no time. But if it's not advantageous, mandating it is absurd.

        I say "if KERS turns out to be advantageous" because remember, in order to finish first, you must first finish. KERS is rather complicated and expensive. It'll take a little bit of time to make it a net advantage instead of a net disadvantage, especially for teams that don't have a ton of money to throw around.

        What I said may seem like hair splitting, but if races at the start of next season are won by cars without KERS, it will no longer seem like a hair split at all.

        I still maintain KERS is a publicity stunt. If F1 wants to save on fuel they would be smarter to allow spoiler angle of attack reduction on the straights (like the Chapparal cars of long ago). On the straights at high speeds, the spoilers just waste energy by creating drag and pushing the car into the track harder than they need to. Reducing the angle of attack on the straights would increase speeds on the straights and decrease fuel usage at minimal additional cost to the teams.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Wow, I'm gonna go with Franz here. 80hp either means that much faster out of the corner, or, if you are in the lead that's 80hp that could have come from regen braking coming into the corner, conserving fuel and pushing out the next pit. Regen braking could also allow longer pad life, lower rotor temps, etc. Obviously, another application is an extra 80hp in passing.

        I'll bet Audi is watching very closely and probably already has a hybrid system on the drawing board.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I love this car. I think it's an impressive piece of tech, & I hope the regs allow it for next season.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Racing is entertainment. I don't find races with no passes to be particularly entertaining.

        I don't know where you got the idea I'm hung up on records. I don't like the R10 (which has set records), I don't like the Enzo (which set records), I don't like the Veyron (which has set lots of records).

        The R10 isn't impressive because it is only wins because the rules are rigged for it. It is allowed almost 50% more displacement, double the boost and double the air (more than double sized air restrictor), plus a few percent more energy in the fuel tank than a gas race car. They even raise the minimum weight in the class to match the lowest weight Audi could get the R10 down to so it didn't suffer a disadvantage there either. If it weren't for these ridiculous rules, the R10 couldn't even beat the R8.

        I don't care about the records. Without the restrictions added to the R8 over the years (cut boost from 2 bar to 1.66, smaller restrictor, smaller gas tank and higher minimum weight) the R8 would own the records. For that matter, without earlier restrictions, the Nissan R390 might have them.

        Audi did a great job exploiting the rules. Much like Mercedes (Ilmor) did with the pushrod V8 they created for Indy 15 years ago. But on the street, contorted homologation rules don't exist, and so such trickery doesn't benefit me (Al Franken) at all.

        This car does show the weight/size advantage of LIon batteries. They're also more vibration resistant. I don't know why werks teams don't use them instead of lead-acid even in non-hybrid race cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Meh, I was impressed until Peugeot failed to beat audi, somehow I doubt the increased weight will do anything for their handling/traction disadvantage.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's all a matter of perspective. When I say I love the car, I mean the regular 908 HDi that this is based on. As for how impressive the technology is: hybrid diesel race car? I thought it would've been self explanatory. It's not exactly unheard of to think something can be impressive in concept and execution without seeing it turn a wheel yet. You're always so caught up in hard numbers and fact that you throw subjective opinions out the window. I've seen this with you so many times: a race can't be impressive if no one was overtaking, a car can't be impressive if it hasn't broken any records or won anything, a design can't be impressive if you don't like it, nothing is impressive if the math doesn't add up on paper... your brain must be like a block of concrete. Think outside the box for once.
        • 6 Years Ago
        How can it be impressive if it hasn't run yet?

        Over on autobloggreen I did some thumbnail calculations that say that even if this system is used solely to replace the HP developed by burning fuel instead of adding to it, the car will only increase its fuel economy at Le Mans perhaps 3%. To be honest, my calculations seem to indicate less than 2%. And that's ignoring the increase in weight of about 7%.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Competition improves the breed, lets hope Audi is ready.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Interestingly, under ACO rules, it is illegal to drive a car back to the pits on the starter motor (as Corvette fell afoul of a few years back). Since this is the starter motor, would it be legal to drive back on it alone? ACO would have to clarify that.
        • 6 Years Ago
        BigMcLargeHuge: the reason Audi won is because they covered more distance over 24 hours than anyone else. Qualifying meansnothing. Top speed means nothing. I too thought that Peugeot had brought a gun to a knife fight, after qualifying.

        Now here are a few questions:

        - Can the system be used to launch / help launch out of the pit box. Say a car is having a tough time starting, off the starter. Can they run down the pit lane on the electric engine and "bump-start" the car later down the pit lane?

        - Can the system be used to limp a car back to the pit, say after a shunt or after having run dry? The article mentions 80hp for 20s, but can they do 40hp for 40s or 20 for 80?

        - Can the system be used, say in the event of a clutch failure, assuming the KERS system bypasses the clutch, to power the car even if the primary engine still runs.

        How else can the rules be interpreted?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Audi won because it rained. And they had a driver that has won 24-hours LeMans before.

        You can't base your entire argument on a handful of races. Race outcomes aren't based solely on tech. They are based on pit crews, drivers, and a little luck.