June 15, 2005 Peugeot has announced its intentions to win at the famous Le Mans 24 Hours race, in a diesel powered vehicle featuring Peugeot HDi technology. The vehicle, to be developed in 2006 will also be equipped with a diesel particulate filter system. When Peugeot announced its intention to withdraw from the World Rally Championship at the end of 2005 (it currently leads the manufacturers title), the company was determined to pursue its policy of competing at the highest level and decided on this innovative objective. The promotion of deisel as economical, low emmission and high performance is obviously in vogue at present as this announcement follows closely on Mercedes Benz’ remarkable 100,000 mile record using Mercedes E 320 CDI diesel vehicles and running them at 140 miles per hour for days to average 40mpg. Now what we need is an electric racing class.
"This is an extremely stimulating new challenge and I am convinced it will generate considerable interest throughout our staff and across our sales networks. I hope this ambitious yet completely achievable project will provide us with a fresh opportunity to demonstrate our ability to win," declared Frédéric Saint-Geours, Managing Director of Automobiles Peugeot.
The company’s rich motor racing history has seen it compete actively in world class motor sport series, and its accomplished record features a long list of wins and titles, both in rallying and in circuit racing across the globe.
When Peugeot announced its intention to withdraw from the World Rally Championship at the end of 2005, the company was determined to pursue its policy of competing at the highest level and has decided on an innovative objective: victory in the celebrated Le Mans 24 Hours with a diesel-powered car.
The Le Mans 24 Hour endurance race has always stood out as a test-bed when it comes to validating technological developments that inevitably benefit road cars of the future. It is also a race that enjoys outstanding media attentions and last year's event, which attracted a crowd of more than 200,000 spectators, was broadcast to 228 million television viewers worldwide.
While this new programme will focus on the great French endurance classic, it will also take in the five rounds of the Le Mans Endurance Series (Spa, Monza, Silverstone, Nürburgring and Istanbul).
Once the programme's feasibility has been confirmed in the early part of 2006, Peugeot Sport will begin development work on the chassis and HDi engine in close collaboration with the universally recognised diesel technology expertise of PSA’s Engineering Department.
The new car will run for the first time at the end of 2006, with the car competing for the first time in 2007.