Aston Martin has become the first manufacturer to reveal its Le Mans “hypercar”, under the new rules for 2020-2021.
The British brand will return to the top class of the endurance race, and compete in the full FIA World Endurance Championship season, for the first time since 1989. Its weapon of choice for a first victory since 1959 is, of course, the Valkyrie.
Aston has been developing the Valkyrie in conjunction with Red Bull Racing, and has so far confirmed both a “regular” road car and a slightly hotter track variant that it calls the AMR Pro.
A Le Mans Hypercar-category racer would represent a third variant. Though Aston Martin has created the car with that sort of extreme performance in mind, it isn’t entirely ready made for a 24 hour race.
Valkyrie, says Aston Martin, will be the platform for the Le Mans challenger. It shouldn’t be significantly different in terms of form, but the regulations for the category limit the cars’ power well below the 1,100hp that the Valkyrie puts to the road. In fact the hypercar rules limit the combustion engine to 697hp, with a maximum 268hp from a front-wheel motor hybrid system.
The good news is that Aston Martin won’t be doing away with the Valkyrie’s heart. It’ll keep that naturally aspirated, 6.5-liter Cosworth V12, but Aston Martin Racing will have to turn the wick down from its 1,000hp peak.
Aston Martin’s president and CEO, Dr. Andy Palmer, comments:
“We have always said that we would one day bring Aston Martin back to Le Mans with the intention of going for the outright win when the time was right – now is that time. David Brown came here in 1959, with a car and a team of drivers capable of winning. We intend to do the same in 2021.
“The Aston Martin Valkyrie is primed for such a challenge and sits perfectly within the ACO’s new ‘hypercar’ rule framework. Bringing to bear all of our previous experience and knowledge of competing at the top levels of motorsport, we embark on this most ambitious project with the necessary ingredients for success. What could be more evocative than the wail of an Aston Martin V12 leading the charge into the night on the Mulsanne straight?”
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