Peugeot is bringing back the glory days of its past Indy 500 participation, with the elusive L500 R HYbrid. The Peugeot L500 R HYbrid pays tribute to the L45 and the Lion marque’s illustrious past in the USA, when the Lion claimed three victories in the 500-mile event at the Indianapolis speedway, the world’s second-oldest racetrack.
On 30 May 1916, the Peugeot L45 driven by Dario Resta won the mythical Indianapolis 500 race, at an average speed of 135 km/h. A hundred years later, the Peugeot L500 R HYbrid is a fitting tribute to the three victories at the Indy 500, from 1913 to 1919.
The Peugeot L500 R HYbrid hugs the asphalt to deliver its full potential right from pullaway. With its wide track, low profile (just one meter high) and light weight (1,000 kg), the L500 R HYbrid is made for performance: it takes just 2.5 seconds to reach 100 km/h from standstill. Developed by Peugeot Sport teams, the 500-bhp plug-in hybrid petrol powertrain features two electric motors (one front and one rear) plus a 270 hp petrol engine, yielding peak torque of 730 Nm.
Style-wise, the sleek lines run from the lion badge on the radiator grille toward the driver to end in a streamlined rear feature (a nod to the car’s century-old ancestor) highlighting the three distinctive rear lamp claws that form part of Peugeot’s design identity today. Because the Peugeot L500 R HYbrid racing car is designed to be one with its driver, driving sensations are amplified by a driver compartment deliberately designed to form an individual floating capsule enclosed in the bodywork. Through a prospective concept, the Peugeot i-Cockpit technology takes a radical motorsport stance, with a small steering wheel embedded in the structure and two holograms showing information in dual disc displays.
In their relentless quest for aerodynamic, the Peugeot teams reinterpreted the original L45 two-seat architecture to produce a single seater that offers a virtual co-pilot an amplified real-time racing experience through a virtual reality headset. The L500 R HYbrid is a timeless Peugeot, extending to the future with its forward-looking design, overtly acknowledging the past prowess of its predecessors, and proudly showing off some of Peugeot’s present-day design identity features, such as the front light signature seen on the Peugeot 3008 SUV, or the striking blue and black color scheme as a reference both to the 500-bhp petrol hybrid drivechain and to the color of the original L45.