Peugeot didn’t participate at this year’s Indianapolis 500. You would think that Peugeot forgot everything about its Indiana racing history. Far from it, the automaker has released a concept that celebrates past conquests at the Indy 500. The automaker’s Charlatans team conquered Indianapolis track three times first in 1913, then in 1916 as well as in 1919. Now, about a century later, the automaker is set to honor the L45, the car used in the races through a futuristic racing car concept dubbed the Peugeot L500R Hybrid. Unlike the L45 which derived its name from its 4.5 L engine, the new model is a vision of the future.
Currently, all indications point to EVs as the future of the automobile world. Even motorsports has embraced this fact and Peugeot is just one of the many automakers who have already debuted racing car concepts powered by electricity and hybrid drive-trains.
Peugeot L500R Hybrid Concept Exterior
One look at the car and you get amazed at how low it is. The car stands at just a meter high which has helped enhance its wedge-like shape. The exterior is futuristic and I don’t see this kind of model coming out of Peugeot’s production house any time soon. Though the model commemorates the L45 that won at the Indianapolis way back in 1916, Peugeot designers really put some creativity in the exterior of this model and the only common exterior features between the two models is only the heritage 3-tone paint job.
The front fascia is adopted from the Peugeot 3008. However, the fascia has been redesigned to look futuristic. The vehicle does not have conventional headlights; rather, the automaker has used small LED lights on either side of the rectangular-shaped air dam. The signature lion emblem is fitted at the middle of the air dam.
If you look closely, you will notice the small insert below the air dam. A dominant carbon-fiber front lip which is cleverly fitted to add –down-force slots below the insert. The front also features a sculpted hood that looks longer than the one on the 3008.
The sides look smooth and are fitted with huge wheels that could be even 24 inches wide. The wheels are wrapped in super thin tires. Behind the front wheels, Peugeot has added gigantic air vents that channel air both from the front and on the side which helps apply down-force to the center side of the car. Due to the i-cockpit design of the cabin, the model features a small window on each side.
At the rear, the Peugeot L500R Hybrid looks like the spaceships we see on movies. The automaker has left the area behind the rear tires open to enhance air flow. Unlike the front fascia, the rear feature three LED taillights at the center that look more conventional, unlike the headlights. The taillights feature a silver insert surround.
Peugeot L500R Hybrid Concept Interior
On the inside, the interior is particularly customized for the driver. The automaker says that the cabin is made to be “one with its driver”. Unlike the L45, the L500 R Hybrid concept has a seating capacity for the driver only.
The model is hooked up with an i-Cockpit technology. This design features dual hologram heads-up displays which show important information about the car and the track .In front of the driver is a tiny steering wheel similar to those on Formula 1 cars. In general, the cabin is similar to that of the fighter jet F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
According to the automaker, the seat design is actually adopted from the L45 and then customized only for the driver. The seat features carbon-fiber and a padded structure on each side at the very top to enhance the driver’s head protection. The headset also acts as a virtual cockpit which displays a real-time race experience.
Engine Specs and Performance
Unlike the model it commemorates, the concept is powered by a plug-in hybrid drive-train. The drive-train combines a 266 hp petrol engine with two electric motors, one at each axle bringing the total output to 493 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque.
The powerful drive-train coupled by the cars light curb weight at only 2,205 lbs (1,000 kg) shoots the car from 0-60 mph (100 km/h) in only 2.5 seconds.
Given its ultra-futuristic look, it’s probably fair to assume the Peugeot L500R Hybrid won’t be making it to production. However, inclusion of a hybrid drive-train confirms Peugeot’s intentions to craft electric engines for its road and racing cars.