In the WEC World Endurance Championship, this year 2022 has been marked by the entry into force of new regulations in which the LMP1 category is replaced by the Hypercar class. The corresponding cars, less efficient than their predecessors, are themselves of two types. On the one hand, the LMH (Le Mans Hypercar) which can be designed from A to Z by the manufacturers. On the other, the LMDh (Le Mans Daytona hybrid) which must use the chassis of an approved manufacturer (Oreca, Ligier, Dallara or Multimatic), It will be equipped with a hybrid engine whose common electrical part is designed by Williams and Bosch, and will share a gearbox signed Xtrac. In any case, the maximum authorized power is 680 HP and the minimum weight is 1,030 kg. The key: a clear reduction in costs compared to LMP1, a certain freedom of design, easier development of possible road versions and the possibility for teams to compete at the same time in the WEC, which includes the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans. and in the IMSA American Championship. This proposal has conquered many manufacturers, including certain legends of the resistance who have announced their return. Discover hypercars already presented or announced, in alphabetical order.
Acura, the American premium subsidiary of Honda, completes the development of its LMDh called ARX-06 (Acura Racing eXperimental, Generation 6) for the 2023 season of the IMSA championship. Its chassis is signed Oreca. The details of its mechanics have not yet been revealed. There doesn’t seem to be any WEC entry on this side of the Atlantic.
Alpine, currently in transition with its LMP1-derived A480 after several years of success in LMP2 with the help of the Signatech team, it is preparing an Oreca-chassis LMDh for 2024. No details about the car have been leaked yet. Alpine had won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1978.
Audi, winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 13 times between 2000 and 2014 (including twice with a privateer team), will return to Sarthe in 2023 for the race’s centenary. Before that, his prototype LMDh will debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona next January. It remains to know the characteristics of the car.
BMW M Hybrid V8
BMW, whose V12 LMR won the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans after a legendary duel against a factory Toyota GT-One, will return to the highest level of endurance racing in 2023 with an LMDh called the BMW M Hybrid V8. Its twin-turbo eight-cylinder called the P66/3 is derived from the M4’s naturally aspirated four-cylinder. which ran in the DTM in 2017 and 2018. It is installed on a Dallara chassis. The German manufacturer has only announced its commitment to IMSA for now, but a WEC finish could follow.
Project Cadillac GTP Hypercar
Cadillac, which stood out at Le Mans with its Northstar LMP in the early 2000s, will return in 2023 with the LMDh with Dallara chassis that will run in the WEC as in the IMSA. Presented as a concept car, the prototype is powered by a 5.5 L V8.
Nine times, a Ferrari has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, becoming the most successful manufacturer behind Porsche and Audi. The last time was in 1965 for the sixth time in a row. And if his GTs still shine today, it has been many years since the rampaging horse was no longer competing in the fastest endurance category. It will return in 2023 with an LMH with still secret specifications. The car is currently being tested on a camouflaged circuit.
Glickenhaus SCG 007
American manufacturer Glickenhaus entered its SCG 007 hypercar at the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours and it didn’t deserve it, both cars crossing the finish line behind Toyota and Alpine. Rebelote in 2022 with a fourth and a fifth place for these 100% thermal LMHs powered by a 3.5L biturbo V8. A road version of the 007 has been announced. It should offer 1,419 hp for 1,270 kg empty, be produced in 24 copies and sell for 2.5 million dollars each, that’s about 2.45 million d euros.
Lamborghini will enter the WEC and IMSA for the 2024 season, with an LMDh with a Ligier chassis. The car is only visible in a “teaser” illustration at the moment.
It’s an understatement to say that Peugeot caused a sensation when it introduced its LMH called the 9X8 in July 2021. This hybrid hypercar, equipped with a 2.6 L biturbo V6 and all-wheel drive (the electric motor driving the front wheels), it lacks a transverse rear spoiler, a stylistic distinction made possible by the lowering of the performance ceilings between LMP1 and Hypercar. The car’s well-studied design refers to the brand’s road models, starting with the triple luminous claws on its four corners. The 9X8’s first engagement took place at the 6 Hours of Monza on July 10, 2022 and those starts were rocky. The race ended with a 33rd place finish and a retirement for the French team. It must now progress to hope to shine at the 2023 Le Mans 24 Hours, the 30th anniversary year of the 905’s famous hat-trick. Peugeot also won at Le Mans in 1992 and 2009.
The German manufacturer Porsche holds the record for victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with no less than 19 trophies, and aims for a 20th by 2023. Its weapon: the 963, an LMDh whose Multimatic chassis houses a 4.6L twin-turbo V8 derived from the atmospheric block of the 918 Spyder. Its name makes it take over from the legendary 962 of the 80s, although in the meantime other Porsches have won at Le Mans (WSC-95, 911 GT1, 919 Hybrid). Porsche will race in partnership with Team Penske. You counted well; three Volkswagen Group brands plan to compete in the WEC.
Toyota GR010 hybrid
Toyota has dominated the endurance head and shoulders since Porsche retired. The Japanese manufacturer has achieved five consecutive wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans between 2018 and 2022, including four doubles. In 2021, the LMH GR010 Hybrid took over from the LMP1 TS050 Hybrid. Its mid-rear 3.5L twin-turbo V6 is paired with a front electric motor, giving the prototype four-wheel drive. A road-going version of the car was announced in late 2017 under the name GR Super Sport with a promised output of over 1,000 hp. A camouflaged prototype took a few laps in public in September 2020, but Toyota’s last mention of the car was in January 2021, and our inside sources have since confirmed that its development has stopped.
British manufacturer Vanwall made history in 1958, winning the first F1 constructors’ title. Two revival projects have recently been announced, but while details are lacking, they don’t appear to be related. On the one hand, the so-called Vanwall Group is preparing a “sequel” to the 1958 Vanwall VW7 single-seater. in very small series. On the other hand, German endurance team ByKolles has registered the Vanwall brand across the Rhine and plans to enter a named LMH in the WEC. The 100% thermal racing car is powered by a naturally aspirated V8. A hybrid road variant has been announced to deliver over 1,000bhp and a power-to-weight ratio of 1kg/bhp. However, regulatory and legal constraints have prevented ByKolles from entering his Vanwall for the 2022 WEC championship. Therefore, his arrival in 2023 remains questionable. Either way, the centenary edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans promises to be exceptional and will launch a promising new era in endurance racing.