- Alfa Romeo
- Aston Martin
- Land Rover
World War II jokes aside, the French and the Germans are joining forces this time…and for powers of good. BMW and PSA Peugeot Citroën plan to invest 100 million Euros and the efforts of 400 employees into developing hybrid technology, to be shared by both brands.
Celebrating its 200th anniversary, Peugeot will be showing off its EX1 electric roadster concept at Paris Auto Show at the end of the month. The EX1 is a uniquely designed, lightweight two-seat roadster that’s all electric. Peugeot even claims that their concept car “has already broken several world records for acceleration from a standing start.” Peugeot claims the electric roadster is capable of 0-62 mph in 3.55 seconds and a top speed of 161 mph.
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the sanctioning body behind the 24 Hours of LeMans race, announced a series of rule changes designed to make the gasoline powered LMP1 race cars more competitive with their diesel powered brethern. Currently, oil-burning offerings from Audi and Peugeot dominate the field, but in 2011, the auto makers will see a new challenger from British firm Aston Martin.
Like the Audi R10, the Aston Martin will be an open cockpit single seater, but engine details remain scarce. Only time will tell if the new regulations have leveled the playing field, but the diesels have done a good job of capturing the public’s imagination.
Hit the jump to read the official press release
[Source: Aston Martin]
When the clock struck 12 today at Le Circuit de La Sarthe, Audi took home a stunning sweep of the podium at this year’s running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With the Peugeot 908’s showing considerably more pace during qualifying, not even Audi Motorsports boss Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich would have predicted a 1-2-3 finish for their R15 TDI diesel-powered LMP1 machines.
According to Ullrich, “At the beginning it was a little unlucky for us but at the end it all worked fine. It’s a great reward for all the work that everyone [at Audi Motorsports] has done. I think this has to be the hardest Le Mans we’ve ever done.”
Dr. Ullrich was congratulated by his counterpart at Peugeot, Director of Motorsport Olivier Quesnel, straight after the race. Ullrich returned the favor by paying tribute to Audi’s arch rival Peugeot by remarking on the camararderie between the two teams. “In sport when someone wins then someone else loses, but when the loser comes and congratulates the winner it is all very sporting. That is what we did last year and that’s what Peugeot has done this year. It has been a fantastic battle, we’ve invited the Peugeot guys to a party tonight and we hope that they will all come”.
For Audi this is their 9th victory at Le Mans, tying them with Ferrari as the second winningest team in history ( Porsche having 16 wins to their name). The winning #9 Audi, driven by Mike Rockenfeller, Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard, also set a new distance record by completing 397 laps at an average speed of 225.228 km/h.
This was also Michelin’s 19th Le Mans victory and the 27th time the race has been won by a German car.
Results from LMP2, GT1 and GT2 after the jump:
One of the toughest and most prestigious endurance races in the world, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has officially begun, with the third and final qualifying session running last night. Peugeot and their diesel-powered 908’s put on a dominating performance, claiming the top four spots on the grid and leading the way amongst the LMP1 group that was once owned by Audi.
Frenchman and former Indy Car champ Sebastien Bourdais led the way for Peugeot, claiming pole position for the French manufacturer and no doubt delighting the home town crowd in the process. Local fans were probably just as pleased to see Frenchman and former F1 driver Olivier Panis’ independent ORECA Team Peugeot Matmut qualify 4th just behind the three factory Peugeots.
Audi, who’ve owned Le Mans with their LMP1 machines over the last decade, claimed the next three spots on the starting grid with their trio of R15 entries, giving diesel-powered cars the top seven spots. Audi’s Allan McNish made a late charge during the final qualifying session to close the Audi-Peugeot gap to 2.5-seconds a lap, but over a 24 hour period Audi has to hope for superior fuel and tire economy if they’re to have any chance at defeating the quicker Peugeots.
Get the rest of the qualifying results after the jump:
A little over a month after the new Outlander Sport SUV (known as the ASX or RVR in the rest of the world) took a bow at the New York Auto Show, Mitsubishi has announced that it will be giving a variation of the sharp-looking crossover to Peugeot and Citroen, two companies which have had a long alliance with the Japanese automaker.
The Peugeot/Citroen variant will come with a very European 1.6-liter diesel engine, and the choice of either front or four-wheel-drive. Expected to launch in 2012, Peugeot and Citroen expect to move a combined 50,000 units per year, with the companies forecasting a 60% growth in SUV sales by 2015. While Europe is not usually thought of as hot spot for SUVs, compact crossovers (like this small, diesel powered model) are a hit and the ASX could potentially be a popular vehicle for locales with tight, winding streets and high fuel prices.
Official release after the jump:
The elk test is one of the most infamous procedures used to evaluate new cars. A double lane change at 50 mph, the elk test was designed to help Scandinavian auto journalists evaluate the highway speed stability of a car, when the threat of a large animal in the road is a very real safety hazard.
The most infamous incident involving the elk test saw the Mercedes-Benz A-Class roll over during the maneuver. While it was an embarrassment for Mercedes-Benz, it had the benefit of introducing electronic stability control systems to passenger cars. 13 years later, a trio of similarly tall wagons from Peugeot, Citroen and Fiat underwent the same test in Britain, with similar results.
While the three cars are all based off the same platform, only the Fiat had stability control. While it passed the elk test, the Citroen variant suffered a roll-over, prompting Which magazine (the publication conducting the test) to suspend testing of the Peugeot, due to its lack of stability control.
Both Citroen and Peugeot say that they will be working on a stability control system for their cars. While many enthusiasts complain that these systems ruin the driving experience in high performance situations, most stability control programs can be turned off, and the elk test demonstrates how useful they are, especially in vehicles like the aforementioned vans, where the risk of a rollover in an emergency is far more likely than anyone ever driving them rapidly.
[Source: Which Magazine]