Total Production: 7 1990 - 1991 A racing vehicle designed by Peugeot, the Peugeot 905 was victorious in the 24 hours of The Mans in both 1992 and 1993. A Sports-prototype racing car, the Peugeot 905 was introduced for Sportscar racing. The 905 was introduced by a team led by Jean Todt in 1988 to compete in the 1991 championship utilizing the new rules which the 1991 season would introduce. The first Peugeot victory was achieved in April in Suzuka (Baldi/Alliot). Additional victories were achieved soon after, the first at Magny-Cours in September and then another in Mexico in October.
Conceived in collaboration with Dassault Aviation, the Peugeot 905 used a frame in Carbon fiber along with a driving V10 engine made out of light alloy very near to what was made in Formula 1 at the present time. The Peugeot 905 was unveiled on July 4th 1990 and was developed throughout 1990 until it made its racing debut in the final two races of the Montreal and Mexico 1990 World Sportscar Championship season. Thogh slower than the contemporary Group C Sports Prototypes, the Peugeot 905 was much quicker than other 3.5 liter Sports-Prototypes that competed in the 1990 World Sportscar Championship season.
The 1991 Peugeot 905 was much quicker than the '90 version, but unfortunately had been heavily penalized during the early part of the season, and as a result now featured some reliability and performance problems. Peugeot introduced the 905B by carrying over the cockpit of the previous vehicle. A two-tier rear wing was added along with an optional full-width front wing and a much more powerful SA35-A2 engine.
In 1992 the 905 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race with the team of Mark Blundell, Derek Warwick and Yannick Dalmas. One year later that win was followed again by the team of Eric Helary, Geoff Brabham and Christophe Bouchut.
The 905 carried out a historical triplet with the 24 hors of Mans in 1993. The Peugeot 905 Evolution 2 was introduced to compete in the 1993 season but will not finally run.By Jessica DonaldsonThe Peugeot 205 raced successfully in the Group B class with repeat World Championship victories. When the Group B class was canceled for the 1986 season, the 205 and other Group B cars became obsolete. The Peugeot Sport team cars were then converted for various other competition, such as the Pikes Peak Hillclimb.
In the Group C category, new 3.5-liter regulations gave Peugeot an opportunity to focus their efforts in this arena, against a field of new sportscars rather than finely tuned and refined competitors. The new regulations disallowed turbochargers and gave engine capacity a maximum of 3.5-liters.
Peugeot began by developing a completely new SA35-A1 V10 engine that was given an unusual 80-degree V-angle. It had four valves per cylinder, dual overhead camshafts, a fuel injection system, and light alloy construction. The power-plant was installed as a stressed member of the carbon fiber monocoque. It was given a six-speed manual gearbox and carbon fiber disc brakes. The entire package was enclosed in a fully enclosed body with a front-end nose similar to the road going Peugeots of its era.
The new 3.5-liter class had ambitions of enticing manufactures to later compete in Formula One. Even Peugeot's V10 engine inspired future F1 engine designs. The 905 LM, though with an enclosed body and two seats, was similar in many respects to a Formula 1 car.
In mid-1990, the Peugeot 905 made its debut on the Magny Cours Circuit. A single car was used during the final rounds of the 1990 World Sports Car Championship where it was piloted by drivers Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Keke Rosberg. After just 22 laps, the car retired due to a fuel pump failure. The car had proven to be quick, though it failed to keep pace with the Group C cars.
For the 1991 season, after continuous development and testing, the Peugeot 905 squared off against the other 3.5-liter competition. The fastest in the group, however, was the TWR prepared Jaguar XJR-14. The Peugeot again suffered from reliability issues.
A victory was scored at Suzuka followed by preparations for the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans. Unfortunately, the best result for the Peugeot cars was just a mere 68 laps. Testing and development continued, with nearly every part of the vehicle being scrutinized, enhanced, and revised. The bodywork was completely re-worked with fewer road car designs. The engine was reworked, resulting in the SA35-A2 which had an additional 20 horsepower. Downforce was enhanced with a wing that could be added onto the nose and another onto the rear of the car. The result of this work was the revised 905 Evolution 1 Bis.
The updated car was completed in time for the 1991 Nurburgring where it proved the team was headed in the right direction. In the following rounds of the championships, Peugeot scored convincing victories, giving Peugeot second in the championship at the end of the season, behind the Jaguar.
At the end of the season, Peugeot's main competition announced they would not be return in 1992. Rule changes meant that the Porsche 962 and Jaguar XJR-12s, along with their privateer entrants, were obsolete, leaving a very small field of competition for the Peugeot. A new-comer to the class was the Toyota TS010, which won the season opener at Monza. The following five rounds were won by Peugeot, including the 24 Hours of LeMans.
For 1993, there was no World Sports Car Championship. Prior to this announcement, Peugeot had begun work on next evolution of the 905, officially known as the 'Evo 2.' It never raced but it did serve as inspiration for future LMP designs.
Though there was no World Championship for 1993, there was the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where Peugeot scored a first, second, and third place victory. This was the final outing for the 905 By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 20131992-1993 Peugeot 905 Evo 1 bisThe 1980s was, quite literally, the turbo era in European motor racing. The World Rally Championship and the turbocharged cars of Formula One dominated their series. Then there were the Group C cars of sportscar racing. While this would be an exciting time in endurance sportscar racing, it would also discourage more than a few manufacturers as a result of the investment that was required to compete. However, at the end of the 1980s the doors would open and Peugeot would be one manufacturer that would take advantage.
Peugeot would be heavily-invested into turbo technology, but in the World Rally Championship. The companies incredible 205 would go on to score back-to-back World Rally Championships in the mid-1980s. Unfortunately, the domination of the Peugeot 205 would prove to be its undoing. The turbo-charged cars were so powerful and dominant that they became obsolete by the end of 1986. In many respects, the 205 would make sure it would be no longer allowed by enjoying so much success.
Turbocharged rally cars were not only proving to be incredibly fast and dominant, they were also proving to be incredibly dangerous. With boost levels turned up to their optimum rate, the rally cars were capable of horsepower outputs rivaling many of the top Formula One cars and sportscars of the time. This made the cars, which were flying through the woods with trees and people lining the course, extremely menacing projectiles. Consequently, the decision to bring rallying back to sane levels made sense. However, it would leave manufacturers, like Peugeot, with an important decision to make.
Forced to start with a brand new engine and design no matter what, Peugeot Sport's Jean Todt would make the decision to venture into a whole new domain—sportscar racing. The Group C cars of endurance sportscar racing were entering their final moments of glory. New regulations, which banned turbocharged engines in favor of 3.5-liter, normally-aspirated engine and chassis weighing 750kg, would be implemented at the start of the 1991 season. Peugeot Talbot Sport needed to create an all-new design no matter what it decided. Therefore, the crew set to work creating a whole-new sportscar prototype.
The one major difference between rallying and sportscar racing could be found in one word—aerodynamics. Leading up to the time when turbocharged engines would become banned in rallying, aerodynamics would take a back seat to engine performance and all-wheel drive. Of course aerodynamics was much more overlooked as a result of homologation regulations that ruled Group B rallying and the fact a rally car had to handle, accelerate and brake to the maximum to be fastest through the woods. Aerodynamics didn't necessarily help all that much.
Endurance sportscar racing would be an entirely different story. Aerodynamics would be very much an important part of the car equation. Launched in 1990, the 905 project would be handed over to Dassault in order to create a sleek sportscar prototype.
At the same time the aerospace company Dassault was working on creating a smooth prototype chassis, Peugeot was working hard on creating a 3.5-liter, normally-aspirated engine to use in the new World Sportscar Championship.
Though Peugeot had set about to create a sportscar, the work would actually set many trends that would be used in Formula One, including the engine that would be developed for the car. The result of Peugeot's work would be an 80 degree, 3.5-liter, V10 engine. The Peugeot engine would actually be one of the very first ten-cylinder engines that would become the type of choice in Formula One well into the new millennium. A light alloy engine with four valves per cylinder, the V10 engine was capable of producing 650bhp at engine speeds hovering near 13,000rpm.
The powerplant would be coming together. Dassault would be at work creating a carbon-fiber monocoque body to fit overtop of the engine and the chassis. Advancements in car design, particularly in Formula One, would spill over into sportscar design and it would be more than obvious with the body off of the 905. Were it not for the required two seats befitting of a sportscar, the chassis of the 905 would appear very similar to a Formula One car with its double wishbone suspension and damper setup. The majority of the actual body shape would not come from welded tubes covered by a fiberglass body. Instead, the chassis would be virtually just the tub around the cockpit and the nose and rear. The rest of the car would be the carbon-fiber monocoque body that not only provided aerodynamic styling, but also, collision protection.
The first evolution of the 905 would be very compact and light fitting to the new regulations. Just aft of the front splitter would be a slightly-raised nose that featured a gentle curve across its leading-edge. All across the frontal area of the nose there would be induced a concave arc to help provide downforce at the front of the car. Just after of the front wheel wells the bodywork would be pulled into a coke-bottle shape that continued all along the sides of the car.
From head-on, the cockpit of the 905 would be a small semi-circle that was as tight inside as it looked from the outside. Given the aerodynamic-shaping of the windscreen and cockpit area the driver sat positioned well back from the leading-edge of the windscreen and did make visibility out over the wheels incredibly difficult.
From above, the cockpit area would sport a teardrop shape that worked with the bodywork of the rest of the car. The smooth cockpit enabled airflow to pass around the sides of the car and would be channeled between the cockpit and the leading-edge of the rear wheel arch. This channeled deepened as it travelled aft as the profile of the side bodywork of the car increased as it passed over the rear wheels. Situated between the leading-edges of the wheel arches and the cockpit were a couple of NACA vents that fed air to help cool the brakes.
The positioning of the vents enabled wheel covers to be fitted to the rear tires. Though not entirely covered like of the Jaguars of the time, the 905's covers still helped reduce turbulence around the rear of the car. The wheel skirts also helped to smooth the airflow as a result of the engine exhausts being positioned just ahead of the rear wheels.
Just above the top of the cockpit itself would be a large air scoop. This scoop helped direct air to the 3.5-liter normally aspirated engine underneath. Trailing well back of the tail-end of the car would be a large wing that worked with the rear diffuser to give the Peugeot a good deal of downforce.
In the hands of Jean-Pierre Jabouille, the experienced French sportscar driver, the 905 would make its debut at Magny Cours in France. Its first official race would come at Montreal in late in 1990 and would be driven by Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Keke Rosberg.
The new 905 would be impressive despite some teething problems. Though it could not keep up with the Group C cars that would be banned at the end of the season, the technical aspects of the car, and the sheer power of the engine, made it far superior than the Cosworth-powered Spice sportscars most everyone else used to conform to the new regulations.
However, at Le Mans in 1991, Peugeot would find itself going up against the old Group C cars that were supposed to be outlawed. The 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans would be the only race on the calendar the whole season in which the older Group C cars would be allowed to run, though they would be heavily handicapped.
The new 905s would start at the front of the field as a result of the handicap but would show they were still quite capable as the two Peugeot entries would easily lead through the first hour of the race. But then, it would all fall apart and neither of the two cars would finish the race.
Le Mans was always the target for Peugeot Talbot Sport. Therefore, over the course of the 1991 season, and especially during the offseason, work would be carried out to create the next evolution of the 905. Called the 905 Evo 1 Bis, the new 905 would actually have very little in common with its predecessor despite having a similar number.
Leaving no stone unturned, the new 905 Evo would be almost entirely brand-new. About the only thing that would remain unchanged would be the chassis underneath that wasn't seen. Outwardly, the new Peugeot should have been called something other than a 905 because it bore very little resemblance.
Looking upon the 905 Evo, the Formula One influence in car design would be all the more obvious. To start with, the nose of the Evo would be entirely redone. Instead of concave leading-edges of the front fenders, the Evo would sport a very short nose with very steep ascent angles sweeping over the top of the front wheels. The area between the leading edges of the front fenders would also be vastly different with the bodywork being positioned much lower to the ground. There would be just enough bodywork to cover the suspension members underneath and that would be it. Additionally, in the case of circuits demanding of higher-downforce, an extra front wing could be mounted to the tip of the nose.
The change in the nose design also meant a change to the layout of the headlights. The nature of the car's design changed. This encouraged a vertical headlight arrangement whereas the original 905 not only had a horizontal headlight position, but also, positioned smaller lights in the area between the actual nose of the car and the splitter attached to the underside. One aspect that wouldn't change between the two really would be the fact the ducts to cool the front disc brakes would remain positioned up in the nose of the car instead of just inside the wheel arches or something such as that. This meant the airflow between the two wheel arches would be disturbed as little as possible.
The main advantage of the very shallow nose of the car was that it enabled air to flow between the wheel arches, to be split by the front edge of the windscreen and then to be directed to large radiator inlets on either side of the car. These large openings allowed for better cooling, which improved reliability and horsepower. The very shallow nose also enabled designers to create the radiator inlets without having to change the outer design of the car. In fact, the radiator inlets of the car are not visible when the car is view from the side. The top line of the bodywork cascading over the top of the front wheels keeps a high profile as it travels after before it again contours up and over the rear wheels.
The side of the car would be much more conventional in its design with the rear wheels void of the covers. However, despite the loss of the covers, the engine exhaust exit would remain positioned just ahead of the rear wheels. The ducting for the rear disc brakes, however, would not remain the same. Instead of large NACA vents, vertical air scoops protruding out of the top of the bodywork just to the inside of the rear wheels help to channel cool air to the brakes.
The cockpit of the 905 Evo would look the same as the 905, but it too would also be evolved from the original. Though keeping the semi-circle shape overall, the lower-profile nose necessitated a more obvious teardrop-shape. Thereby the leading-edge of the windscreen extends further forward than what it had previously. It would also end up being packaged much more tightly toward the rear. This would cause the airscoop protruding out of the top and over the aft portion of the cockpit to be much more pronounced, but also, much more aerodynamic in its design.
Overall, within the cockpit, not much would change. The drivers would still find their helmets right up against the window/door in the very tight cockpit. Then, of course, there would be the engine. Though basically the same, the V10 would offer quite a bit more horsepower improving its output to around 670bhp. Mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, the 905 Evo was capable of some truly incredible speeds, including reaching well above 200mph down the Mulsanne, even with the introduction of the two chicanes.
Though remarkable inside and out, one of the other technical aspects of the 905 Evo that would help to set it apart, even from its predecessor, would be its rear end. The underside of the car would be smooth and flat enabling the airflow passing underneath the car to be squeezed. Then, just to either side of the engine and gearbox there would be two deep channels that would help direct the airflow out the back of the car and upwards. When combined with the lower beam of the rear wing, the rear diffuser of the car helped to generate a remarkable amount of downforce. This would be evident for all to see when, at the 1992 24 Hours of Le Mans, the number 2 Peugeot 905 Evo, driven by Philippe Alliot, Mauro Baldi and Jean-Pierre Jabouille would qualify on pole with an incredible lap time of 3:21.209. The best the 905 could do the year before would be a 3:35.058, also in the hands of Alliot, Jabouille and Baldi.
In spite of all the changes, nearly all of the rumors suggested the 905 Evo would not be able to complete the entire 24 hours. The 905 had only managed a few hours each before its assault had come to an end. Why would it be any different with the Evo. However, the 905 Evo would prove to be world's apart from its predecessor as the number 1 Peugeot 905 Evo would go on to score victory by some 5 laps. The number 2 Peugeot 905 Evo would finish 3rd.
Whereas many doubted the 905 Evo would be able to complete the 24 hour race, the latest evolution of the radical car proved to be the beginning of what would be a two year domination of the famous French race. The car would also help the team to win the World Sportscar Championship in 1992. As a result of the success earned in sportscar racing, Peugeot would then venture into Formula One with its V10 engine. Unfortunately, the move would prove to be unsuccessful and would lead to Peugeot's withdrawal from Formula One after just a couple of seasons.
There were only a few, but the 905 Evo 1 Bis would be one of the sportscar prototypes that would launch a whole new era in sportscar racing. Very much Formula One cars with two seats, cars like the 905 Evo would take 24 hour races and would help to turn them into 24 hour sprints. The 905 Evo would also be one of those that would introduce the era technical design and influence into the world of sportscar racing.
Sources: 'Peugeot 905 3.5 Litre Group C', (http://peugeot905.com/technical/). Peugeot905.com. http://peugeot905.com/technical/. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
'Complete Archive of Peugeot 905', (http://www.racingsportscars.com/type/archive/Peugeot/905.html). Racing Sports Cars. http://www.racingsportscars.com/type/archive/Peugeot/905.html. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
'Peugeot 905 Evo 1 Bis', (http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/spec/3291/Peugeot-905-Evo-1-Bis.html). Ultimatecarpage.com: Powered by Knowledge, Driven by Passion. http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/spec/3291/Peugeot-905-Evo-1-Bis.html. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Peugeot 905', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 15 March 2013, 17:37 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Peugeot_905&oldid=544421210 accessed 7 October 2013 By Jeremy McMullen