2007-2009 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP

Images copyright Antonio Pannullo, Martin Spetz, David Lord, Marshall Pruett, Gavin Ireland, Peugeot Media,  and Michael J. Fuller
Text copyright Michael J. Fuller
In June of 2005 Peugeot put into motion their desire to return to Le Mans in 2007.  Work began quietly and by October of '05 Bruno Famin had joined the project with the immediate task of building the design team.  Chief Designer Paolo Catone, aerodynamicist Guillaume Cattelani and engine designer Claude Guillois would be recruited and started work in January of '06.  By March the car's basic architecture was agreed upon and the decision was made to pursue a closed top design.  Development work also began on the diesel engine and a single cylinder test engine was used to pursue early concepts.  Primary aerodynamic development would begin a month later on April 18.  According to Peugeot, 500 hours were spent honing the 908's shape and by July primary aero development was complete.  In June of 2006 Peugeot went public announcing the chassis and details of the project with a full scale concept car being unveiled later in October of that year.  The concept 908 differed in the details to the actual car though did have the characteristic raised nose, and of course the highly anticipated closed top cockpit. 

The Peugeot's 5.5 liter turbo diesel engine is designed with a 100░ V-angle in order to reduce the engine's overall center of gravity.  Diesel engines have rather robust and heavy cylinder heads in order to handle the very high cylinder pressures thus putting weight high up on the engine.  So naturally a reduced V-angle will help alleviate this some. 

The 908 appears to have very good mechanical characteristics and more notably, excellent traction.  Aerodynamically there aren't many surprises and few, if any, interesting regulations interpretations.

Peugeot 908 cutaway by Antonio Pannullo
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2007 Peugeot 908 Specifications
Designer: Technical Director: Bruno Famin
Chief of Design: Paolo Catone
Head of Aero: Guillaume Cattelani 
Chassis and Systems: Jean-Marc Schmit
Engine: Claude Guillois
Layout: Mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
Monocoque: Carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb monocoque
Engine: Peugeot diesel 5.5 liter, 100░ V12, twin turbocharged, 4 valves per cylinder, DOHC, Bosch common-rail direct fuel injection, breathes through 2 x 39.9 mm engine-air intake restrictor (per ACO regulations)
Engine management: Bosch MS 17
Horsepower: 700+ hp
Torque: 885+ lb-ft
Gearbox: Longitudinal 6 speed + reverse.  Sequential gearchange.  Cast aluminum gearbox case.
Clutch: Cerametallic, multi-plate
Differential: Limited-slip differential
Steering: Electric power steering
Suspension: Independent front and rear double wishbone suspension, pushrod system with torsion bars and adjustable dampers
Brakes: Two-circuit hydraulic braking system, single piece light-alloy brake calipers, front and rear ventilated carbon brake discs, F: 380 mm diameter R: 355 mm diameter
Wheels: Magnesium 
F: 13.5 x 18 inch 
R: 14.5 x 18 inch
Tires: Michelin radial
F: 33/68-18 
R: 37/71-18
Length: 4610 mm
Width: 2000 mm
Height: 1030 mm
Wheelbase: 2950 mm
Front Overhang: 910 mm
Rear Overhang: 750 mm
Weight: 939 kgs (2007 Le Mans average)
Tank capacity: 81 liters
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ęCopyright 2009, Michael J. Fuller