Peugeot gave the 908 HYbrid4 its world debut at Geneva this year. Since then, the dual powered Le Mans racer has undergone a shakedown at private PSA Peugeot Citroën venue, and more recently, hit the track for the first time. It was at Estoril, Portugal, for testing.

The car completed a little more than 300 km in the hands of Peugeot drivers Nicolas Minassian, Stéphane Sarrazin and Alexander Wurz. ”Our aim wasn’t to put a lot of kilometres on the clock, but to verify that all the chief functions performed,” said Peugeot Sport’s Technical Director Bruno Famin.

”It was important to analyse the data of each run to be sure we understood the results before moving on to the next step. The system functioned well and responded as predicted, which was very satisfying. At the same time, we started to make a few adjustments to the car’s basic set-up. It worked well, so that’s very positive,” he added.

The system employed by the 908 HYbrid4 recovers and stores the kinetic energy generated under braking, before feeding it back into the driveline during acceleration. This significantly improves the efficiency of the powertrain, says Peugeot. The diesel engine is a 3.7-litre V8 HDi FAP unit with 550 hp. It is aided by a short power boost of 60kW (80 hp) for a few seconds when it the system is activated.

Recovered energy (500kJ between two braking phases) is stored in lithium-ion batteries before being automatically released to power the rear wheels under acceleration (there is no “push to pass” function, however). It will also be possible to run in electric only mode along the pit-lane and it is this mode that will be used for the car’s homologation.

It won’t compete in Le Mans anytime soon, though. “We have no intention of rushing things. We are still on a learning curve and the endurance testing will come later,” Famin said.