Peugeot, Porsche, Ferrari…here are their hypercars

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) that can be designed from A to Z by manufacturers. On the other, the LMDh (Le Mans Daytona hybrid) which must use the chassis of an approved manufacturer (Oreca, Ligier, Dallara or Multimatic), be equipped with a hybrid engine whose common electrical part is designed by Williams and Bosch, and share a gearbox signed Xtrac. In either 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, more facility to develop possible road versions, and the possibility for the teams to race at the same time in the WEC which includes the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the American IMSA championship. This proposal has won over many manufacturers, including certain endurance legends who have announced their return. Discover the hypercars already presented or announced, in alphabetical order.

Acura ARX-06

Acura arrives in the premier class
Acura arrives in the premier class© Acura

Acura, Honda’s North American premium subsidiary, 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. Details of its mechanics have yet to be revealed. No WEC entry on this side of the Atlantic seems to be on the agenda.

Alpine Hypercar

Alpine is already in endurance, but the firm will continue its commitment to hypercar
Alpine is already in endurance, but the firm will continue its commitment to hypercar© Alpine

Alpine, currently in transition with its A480 derived from an LMP1 after several successful years in LMP2 with the help of the Signatech team, is preparing an LMDh with an Oreca chassis for 2024. No details have yet leaked out on the car. Alpine had won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1978.

Audi Hypercar

Audi, winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 13 times between 2000 and 2014 (including twice with a private team), will return to Sarthe in 2023 for the centenary of the race. Before that, its LMDh prototype will debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona next January. The characteristics of the car remain to be known.

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 named BMW M Hybrid V8. Its biturbo eight-cylinder called P66/3 is derived from the naturally aspirated four-cylinder of the M4 which raced in the DTM in 2017 and 2018. It is installed in a Dallara chassis. The German manufacturer has only announced its commitment to IMSA for the moment, but a WEC finish could follow.

Cadillac Project GTP Hypercar

Cadillac, which stood out at Le Mans with its Northstar LMP in the early 2000s, will make its return there in 2023 with the LMDh with Dallara chassis which will race in WEC as in IMSA. Unveiled as a concept car, the prototype is powered by a 5.5 L V8.

Ferrari Hypercar

Nine times, a Ferrari has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, making it the most successful manufacturer behind Porsche and Audi. The last time was in 1965 for the sixth consecutive time. And if his GTs still shine today, it’s been many years since the prancing horse no longer competed in the fastest endurance category. He will return there in 2023 with an LMH with still secret specifications. The car is currently being tested on a camouflaged circuit.

Glickenhaus SCG 007

The American manufacturer Glickenhaus entered its SCG 007 hypercar in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2021 and did not deserve it, the two cars reaching the finish behind the Toyota and Alpine. Rebelote in 2022 with a fourth and a fifth place for these 100% thermal LMH powered by a 3.5 L biturbo V8. A road version of the 007 has been announced. It must offer 1,419 hp for 1,270 kg empty, be produced in 24 copies and sold for 2.5 million dollars each, or around 2.45 million euros.

Lamborghini Hypercar

Lamborghini will enter the WEC and IMSA for the 2024 season, with a LMDh with a Ligier chassis. The car is only visible in a ‘teaser’ illustration at the moment.

Peugeot 9X8

It is an understatement to say that Peugeot caused a sensation by unveiling its LMH named 9X8 in July 2021. This hybrid hypercar, equipped with a twin-turbo 2.6L V6 and an all-wheel drive (the electric motor driving the front wheels), is devoid of a transverse rear wing, a stylistic distinction made possible by the lowering of the performance ceilings between LMP1 and Hypercar. The very studied design of the car refers to the road models of the brand, starting with the triple luminous claws that it sports at its four corners. The first engagement of the 9X8 took place at the 6 Hours of Monza on July 10, 2022 and these beginnings were difficult. The race ended with a 33rd place and a retirement for the French team. It’s up to her to progress now in order to hope to shine at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2023, the year of the 30th anniversary of the famous 905 hat-trick. Peugeot also won at Le Mans in 1992 and 2009.

Porsche 963

The German manufacturer Porsche holds the record for the number of victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with no less than 19 trophies, and is aiming for a 20th for 2023. Its weapon: the 963, an LMDh whose Multimatic chassis accommodates a 4.6 L biturbo V8 derived from the atmospheric block of the 918 Spyder. Its name makes it take over from the legendary 962 of the 1980s, although in the meantime other Porsches have won at Le Mans (WSC-95, 911 GT1, 919 Hybrid). Porsche will race in partnership with the Penske team. You counted well; three brands of the Volkswagen group have planned to compete in the WEC.

Toyota GR010 Hybrid

Toyota has dominated endurance head and shoulders since Porsche pulled out. The Japanese manufacturer has won five consecutive victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans between 2018 and 2022, including four doubles. In 2021, the LMH GR010 Hybrid came to take over from the LMP1 TS050 Hybrid. Its mid-rear twin-turbo 3.5L V6 is paired with a front electric motor, giving the prototype all-wheel drive. A road version of the car was announced at the end of 2017 under the name GR Super Sport with a promised power of more than 1,000 hp. A camouflaged prototype was wheeled around in public in September 2020, but Toyota’s last mention of the car dates back to January 2021 and, according to some rumors, its development has been suspended

Vanwall Hypercar

The historic English manufacturer returns after a long absence
The historic English manufacturer returns after a long absence

The long-dead British manufacturer Vanwall made motorsport history in 1958, winning the first-ever F1 constructors’ title. Two revival projects have been announced recently but, while details are lacking, they don’t appear to be related. On the one hand, the so-called Vanwall Group is preparing a « continuation » of the 1958 Vanwall VW7 single-seater in very small series. On the other, the German endurance team ByKolles has registered the Vanwall brand across the Rhine and plans to enter an LMH so named in the WEC. The racing car, 100% thermal, is powered by an atmospheric V8. A hybrid road variant to offer more than 1,000 hp and a power-to-weight ratio of 1 kg/hp has been announced. However, regulatory and legal constraints have prevented ByKolles from registering his Vanwall for the 2022 WEC championship. His arrival in 2023 therefore remains questionable. Be that as it may, the centenary edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans promises to be exceptional and will launch a promising new era in endurance racing.

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