French automaker Peugeot has revealed the new hybrid hypercar that it will race in the World Endurance Championship series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year. Not only does it look extremely cool — it truly “looks fast standing still,” as they say in motorsports — but it’s missing the typical rear wing, meaning Peugeot’s designers and engineers are making a huge bet that they can create the kind of aerodynamic downforce required to compete with Toyota, the dominant player in prototype racing.
The Le Mans Hypercar class was created a few years ago as Audi and Porsche dropped out of what was then the top prototype class in endurance racing, Le Mans Prototype 1, citing high costs. (Audi and Porsche opted instead to focus on Formula E, the upstart all-electric racing series that is far less expensive — though Audi has since announced it’s leaving that sport.) As a result, Toyota dominated the series in the interim as basically the lone entrant in the top class.