Peugeot Sport this weekend whipped the covers off its 908 HY Le Mans racer, a hybridised version of the 908 HDi, at the final round of the Le Mans series at Silverstone. Running the same KERS setup expected to debut in Formula 1 next year, Peugeot hopes to compete with the 908 HY in next year's competition if 2009 LMP1 regulations will allow it.
In addition to the flash paint job and V12 engine, the 908 HY gains a 60kW electric motor and 10 lithium-ion cells to store energy captured from braking. This extra power can be used to power the vehicle exclusively (in the pit lane for example), or provide maximum power for 20 seconds to assist in overtaking manoeuvres. It can also work in tandem with the diesel V12 over the course of the race to reduce fuel consumption (providing a reduction of around 3-5 percent).
If Peugeot manages to get the 908 HY to the grid next year, it may be just what the French manufacturer needs to topple Audi who have held onto top spot in this year's series. With F1 on board, and now possibly Le Mans looking to give KERS the nod (although some F1 teams are reporting persistent teething troubles with the new technology), we're hoping it won't be long before our own V8 series heads down a similar path.
The sooner KERS becomes mainstream in motorsport, the sooner we'll see it on our own vehicles (and a 60kW burst on demand sounds like great fun to us).