A century ago, Peugeot’s L45 won the Indy 500. The big, hulking 4.5-litre racecar finished the 500-mile race with an average speed of 135km/h — a far cry from yesterday’s Alexander Rossi and Honda win with an average speed of 268km/h. To commemorate that 1916 finish, Peugeot has released images and details about a futuristic single-seat racer that sits barely a metre tall but can hit 100km/h in 2.5 seconds.
The L 500 R HYbrid is the future of motorsport — a wide track, low profile at one metre high, and light weight at 1000kg. A 200kW (270hp) petrol engine joins front and rear electric motors for a total overall 370kW (500bhp) and 730Nm combined torque. Considering the Peugeot L45 was a pioneer in that it had front brakes, this 0-to-100-in-2.5-seconds beast is pretty damn high tech.
And apparently you’re meant to wear a virtual reality headset while you’re driving the Peugeot L 500 R — we’re thinking it’s something like the camera-augmented skullcap worn by pilots of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter — and there are two hologram heads-up displays in front of a tiny Formula 1-esque steering wheel. This is definitely a lot more conceptual than the otherwise believable drivetrain specs, but Peugeot is very much looking to the future. [Peugeot]