Mazda 787B Vs Peugeot 905
This comparison will be focused on the two greatest Le Mans race cars, the Mazda 787B or the Peugeot 905. Both of the vehicles we are comparing have a lot of accolades and performance credentials. Given its rich history, Le Mans is a good place to compare cars.
Le Mans was originally created to test the endurance of the vehicles participating in the race. The first Le Mans race was held in 1923 when the automobile industry was still in its infancy. 24 hours of driving proved to be a formidable challenge. Each year, Le Mans is held in the summer of France and continues to be a strong race.
Let's start with the performance of the 1991 Mazda 787B.
What is the Mazda 787B's exceptional performance?
Mazda is the Japanese manufacturer that won Le Mans. In 1991, Mazda's race car was the 787B. The 787B was powered by a quad-rotary R26B motor. It was the first car of its type to win a 24-hour Le Mans race. The horsepower of the 787B is not a joke. The 787B was rated by FIA as a 4708cc engine with two power cycles per turn. This engine design produced around 700 horsepower.
Nigel Stroud, an English citizen, is the brain behind the 787B engine which made its Le Mans debut back in 1990. The 1991 Le Mans saw three distinct 787B's finish first, sixth and eighth, respectively. The 787B's steady design evolution is what fueled its remarkable achievements. The 787B was born from three decades of continuous development. The 787B's extraordinary performance caught rival automakers like Toyota and Nissan off guard.
Mazda was able to dominate its competitors with engine regulations changes in the early 90s Le Mans period. Mazda couldn't keep up with its competitors before 1990 because the prototypes of the manufacturer's engines were not as efficient as other engine designs. Mazda had a chance to strike when rotary engines were legalized.
The engine of the 787B has three spark plugs per motor and variable inlet trumpets. The 787B's performance evolution was aided by its variable design. Variable inlet trumpets played a crucial role. 700 HP was achieved at 9,000 rpm and 448 lb.-ft. torque.
How did the 787B fine-tune its efficiency?
Every race fan is aware of the importance endurance plays in winning Le Mans. Due to the fuel restrictions on each vehicle, performance efficiency was crucial during the Le Mans races in the early 1990s. Mazda engineers optimized the 787B to win Le Mans with 367 laps in 24 hours. Mazda lowered the 787B's RPM to 8,500, which was a significant engineering improvement that resulted in optimization. Mazda placed a lot of emphasis on the 787B's ability to corner at the fastest possible speed. The 787B's ability to corner at high speeds enabled it to retain exceptional performance while consuming minimal fuel.
Mazda was able to see the fruits of their labor in 1991. In 1991, the 787B competed at Suzuka and placed sixth. The 787B's speed was five seconds faster than the 1990-spec 787. This was due to the use of carbon-ceramic brakes. Mazda's focus on fuel consumption was a significant decision. Jaguar, the 1991 Le Mans champion, had to slow down their speed in order to cut fuel consumption. The 787B was not the fastest car at Le Mans. The Sauber-Mercedes C11's were quicker than the 787B but less efficient in key areas such as weight, which decreased their reliability.
With less than three hours left in the race, the Mazda 787B won the 1991 Le Mans race. Mazda was soon able to achieve its goal of becoming the first Japanese car ever to win Le Mans. Amazingly, a thorough inspection of the part of 1991 787B revealed that the car could still run for 24 hours without any problems.
The Mazda 787B is hard to follow, but the 1991 Peugeot 905's performance remains one of the greatest racing cars ever made.
How did the original Peugeot 905 fare at Le Mans
Peugeot was challenged at Le Mans 1991 when highly-performing group C cars were allowed to enter the race. The Peugeot entries led through the first hour in the 1991 Le Mans competition, but then fell apart and did not finish the race. Peugeot had their sights set on Le Mans and they began to improve the 905 for future competitions. Before we move on to the winning successor, let's take a closer look into the original 905
Peugeot started work on prototype 905 in 1990. To ensure that the car was durable, a strong emphasis was put on Aerodynamics in the 905 Dassault, an aerospace company, which was the first to develop the Peugeot 905 Prototype. The Peugeot 905's body was heavily inspired by Formula 1 car design elements.
What Did the 905's Design Look Like?
The Peugeot 905 Formula 1 appearance was influenced by design elements such as a damper system and double-wishbone suspension. The Peugeot 905 was distinguished from other Formula 1 cars by subtle details such as a two-seat configuration. The chassis of the Peugeot 905 included a tub around its cockpit, nose, and rear. This chassis design was different from other body designs, such as welded tubes covered with a fiberglass body. The Peugeot 905 was equipped with a monocoque carbon-fiber body that provided high aerodynamic styling and collision protection.
The 905 was designed to be compact and lightweight due to new Le Mans regulations. The 905 was equipped with a slightly elevated front nose by Peugeot. It also featured a slight curve along its front edge. The nose of the 905 featured a concave arch that allowed for more downforce to the front. The 905's unique design element is the coke-bottle shape, which permeated the sides of the car's bodies after the vehicle had passed through its front wheel wells.
The compact nature of the 905 continued into its cockpit. Although the cockpit of this vehicle was quite small, its teardrop-shaped design blended seamlessly into the car's exterior. The cockpit design of the 905 was purposeful. Airflow flowed from the cockpit to the sides of the car before being channeled between the cockpit's front edge and the rear wheel arch.
A large air scoop was located above the cockpit and pointed air towards the 905's normally aspirated 3.5-liter engine. It was under the car. To provide plenty of downforces, the 905 had a large rear wing that worked in tandem with the rear diffuser.
How did the Original 905 optimize airflow?
The 905 was able to cool its brakes with air from two NACA vents. The 905's back tires could have wheel covers to reduce vehicle rear turbulence because of the vents' location. With its wheel skirts, the 905's wheel design is brilliant. They smoothen airflow. The 905's engine exhausts were slightly in front of the rear wheels to achieve this even airflow.
Do the Successors of the 905 bear a resemblance to their Predecessors?
The 905 Evo 1 Bis was quite different from the original 905. Peugeot chose not to give the 905 a different name, despite the obvious differences between them.
Peugeot's 905 was influenced by Formula 1 racing. The 905 Evo's nose was very short with steep ascent angles that extended over the car's front wheels. The headlight arrangement was changed to reflect this change in nose design. The most significant difference between the headlights of the 905 Evo and the original was the vertical positioning. The headlights of the Peugeot 905 had been horizontally placed.
Because the 905 Evo has a short nose, it allows for better airflow between the wheel arches. This allowed for more cooling, horsepower and efficiency. The 905 Evo's narrow nose allowed designers to incorporate radiator inlets without changing the exterior design. The 905 Evo's sides were more conventional than the 905 Evo's. However, the covers on the rear wheels have been removed from the 905 Evo. Peugeot used vertical air scoops instead of NACA vents to cool the 905 Evo brakes.
The cockpit of the 905 Evo is the same as that of the original 905 but the nose design change made by the 905 Evo resulted in a forward extension to the windscreen's leading edge. The cockpit of the 905 Evo was tightened at the rear. This resulted in the air scoop being extended out from the top and extending over the cockpit's fore portion. This created a more aerodynamic design.
What is the Original 905 like the 905 Evo in comparison?
The 905 and 905 Evo 1 Bis share a notable similarity: the under chassis of the car that was kept out of sight. The ducts' position inside the car's nose was another rare feature that the 905 and 905 Evo shared. Although the engine of the 905 Evo was identical, it produced 670 horsepower more. The 905 Evo was most impressive with speeds exceeding 200 mph on the Mulsanne.
The similarities between these two vehicles are few and far between. However, rear-end modifications further distinguished the 905 Evo. Peugeot created airflow under the 905 Evo's by providing the vehicle with a smooth, flat underside. The 905 Evo had a 6-speed manual gearbox. Two deep air channels ran from the rear of the 905 Evo's engine and gearbox to send airflow upwards. Peugeot combined the lower beam of the rear wing with the rear diffuser to create a tremendous amount of downforce.
What did the 905 Evo do at Le Mans?
The evolution of the 905 was successful. In 1992, the first Evo won first place and the second Evo placed third at Le Mans. Peugeot's original 905 could not last more than a few minutes. These results were huge for Peugeot.
We spent a lot of time deconstructing the details that give these cars their incredible performance capabilities. It's now time to decide if the Mazda 787B is better than the Peugeot 905 in terms of race car performance.
The Mazda 787b vs. Peugeot 905
Each model offers its own special performance, the Mazda 787B as well as the Peugeot 905/905 Evo. The Mazda 787B is a superior vehicle in terms of its endurance and top-of-the-line design to the original Peugeot 905. The Mazda 787B is next to the Peugeot 905 Evo 1 Bis. This will make for a fascinating debate, as both vehicles are very innovative in their design.
Le Mans history was made by the Mazda 787B on these levels:
- First Japanese manufacturer to win Le Mans
- Le Mans' first car to use carbon-ceramic brakes
- First car to include a rotary engine to win Le Mans
The Peugeot 905's evolution is just as impressive as the marks above. The 905 Evo has some of the most aerodynamic and downforce elements racing has ever seen. This was possible thanks to numerous body modifications. This evolution took place over a year and saw Peugeot reach first and third places at Le Mans 1992.
We are going to support Mazda, the original innovator, since both the Mazda 787B (and the 905 Evo) are extremely innovative. The 787B's rotary engine produced around 700 horsepower. Mazda was able to achieve the maximum efficiency possible by making specific adjustments such as lowering the 787B's revs to 8,500, and focusing on cornering speed.
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