A 100 years later and Peugeot is still rubbing our noses in it.
Considering the Indy 500 is perhaps the most American automotive race around, it's natural for us to forget the times when foreign manufactures have came in and won the whole thing. Therefore, it's important that we highlight them every now and again, and it seems Peugeot especially wants us Americans to remember its victories at the IMS, as the French firm's assembled an all-new concept car to celebrate its trio of triumphs at Indianapolis. You guys just couldn't leave it alone, could ya?
To be specific, Peugeot's new L500 R HYmotion has been commissioned to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Peugeot's second Indy 500 victory, which came about via Dario "Dolly" Resta's storming drive in a Peugeot L45. Whereas Resta's Peugeot was powered by a 112-hp 4.5-liter four-cylinder engine, the L500 R's force comes from a 270-hp gasoline engine and two electric motors that, when combined with the gas engine, churn out 500 hp. Factor in the incredible performance figures (namely the 0-60 mph time of 2.5 seconds) that come about from the car's streamlined aerodynamics and 2,2000 pound curb weight, and you're left with a closed-top competition car that would be a mind-blowing technical achievement back in 1916.
Though the styling of the Peugeot L500 does seem to bear little resemblance to the victorious L45 there are subtle hints to its century-old predecessor in the HYmotion's bodywork. For instance, the long rear deck is a nod to the bodywork conventions for racing cars at that time, and the gloss "17" decal on the matte black rear fender is a direct reference to Resta's race-winning Peugeot L45. Plus, you've got the trademark shade of French Racing Blue that adorned the 1916 victor of the Indy 500. As a tribute to a victory at a strenuous endurance race, in a time when motorsport was as deadly as the cars were unreliable, the Peugeot L500 R HYmotion gets the thumbs up from us. But what do you make of it?