Even before they came on the scene for their pre-homologation tests, the Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar started its life as a 51.1 GB digital project with a total of 15,267 files stored on a hard drive. This enabled Peugeot Sport designers to visualize and validate the groundbreaking design of the Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar – which has no rear wing compared to its competitors – before even a single part was produced.
Modern digital software makes it possible to conduct in-depth technological research and at the same time save a lot of money, time and resources. The Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar first lived – before putting a wheel on the road – a complete digital life. Peugeot Sport teams spent two years modeling and simulating the digital 9X8 Hypercar. They used both existing software – where necessary adapted to the specific requirements of the project – and computer programs developed entirely internally.
“One of our strengths is that we can create the tools ourselves to design the components we need,” said François Coudrain, Powertrain Director of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) program at Peugeot Sport.
Ingenuity born of digital innovation
The digital Peugeot 9X8 project involved several dozen employees, from computer experts to racing engineers, all focused on one goal: to produce the ultimate long-distance racer. To achieve the best possible result, the Peugeot Sport Engineering Department always follows the same procedure:
• Carefully review the rules to ensure absolute clarity
to get an idea of what is and is not allowed, but primarily to get an idea
get all options.
• Preparation of the design assignment, whereby it
performance targets and the requirements associated with
rules are established and registered. This task becomes
then subdivided into a series of interconnected
• Formulation of the design ideas: based on the main task
visualize the engineers responsible for
creation of the car’s various concepts. It is here
The ingenuity of Peugeot Sport engineers – as well
those of the Style PEUGEOT designers who have been with us from the beginning
The 9X8 project is involved – really comes into its own. One
It should be noted that digital technology is never that
can replace human creativity. Such a program
of the Peugeot 9X8 is first and foremost a huge one
human effort. The most promising digital
concepts are saved after which their pluses become
rated to ultimately select one winner.
• Performing CFD (Computational Fluid.) Simulation
Dynamics): CFD simulation is more commonly used in aerodynamics
and serves as a reference for how the liquid flows. Hereby
takes into account physical or chemical effects
such as turbulence and thermal effects.
“Using our software, we can supply a wide range of dimensions, shapes and materials and work on the weight of the car in accordance with the technical regulations,” says François Coudrain. “In addition, as with the choice of the basic concept, we are able to take a purely digital approach to testing systems and components. We can also assess a wide range of solutions that are impossible to realize in the real world. Before we got on the track, our Hypercar was for a long time a project stored on a hard drive. Here, each of the 15,267 files represented a lot! ”
“There’s one more thing I would like to highlight: artificial intelligence is invaluable for analyzing the vast amount of data that can be found in a race car,” added Jean-Marc Finot, director of Stellantis Motorsport. “Our big data processing applications allow us to simulate a large number of hypotheses. This helps us see if we need to change the design of certain parts to achieve our goals. Only after we have defined the features and simulated performance in different environments with a fully digital race car, we start producing the physical parts. ”
From cable cross sections to drone motors
Some data can be collected without research into material type, shape or number of parts. For example, the body is always made of carbon, the engine of aluminum and there are always four wheels present. We use digital tools to calculate the dimensions and simulate the operation of essential components.
The engineers of the Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar – equipped with a triple electrical system: a 900V battery with 48V and 12V components – were able to fully understand the electromagnetic environment using digital technology and thus tinker with the optimal dimensions for wiring. To minimize the risk of interference (errors), it was necessary to establish a close relationship between the physical components and the software. This was a big job that could only be done using digital technology. In this way, the team found that it was better to use smaller wiring with 48V instead of 12V. This saves space and weight and improves the compatibility between the physical wiring networks and the calculators / computers.
Other components – from Stellantis Sports department stores or derived from mass production – actually work very well without having to be modified in any way, an approach that also makes accountants happy! For example, certain 48V motors used in 9X8 come directly from drones. It goes without saying that the efficiency of the car was simulated and validated using special software. However, they required no structural adjustments.
Digital simulations also allow for customization. For example, in terms of what material to use around the exhaust valves. Precisely here there is a lot of heat and simulations showed that here the carbon body should be protected or even replaced by aluminum or titanium. The design presentation already drew attention to this, but simulations confirmed this, and then it happened again through the real test sessions.
Following the digital development of the Peugeot 9X8, the hard drive with all the technical data formed the basis for the first 1: 1 scale model for testing the wind tunnel and then for the physical race car, whose further continuous development takes place on the track.
Check out the Peugeot LINE-UP HERE