Aston Martin Valkyrie in near-production formEnlarge Photo
Aston Martin envisions a redefined LMP1 class at Le Mans if the FIA changes regulations to allow race-modified versions of hypercars to compete. If that were to happen, it would include the Aston Martin Valkyrie.
The marque's CEO, Andy Palmer, told Autocar in a report published on Monday that the Valkyrie could find its way to Le Mans if regulations allow it. To preface the news, the LMP1 class, which runs prototype racers, is currently in limbo after Porsche announced it will end its campaign to enter Formula E. The news leaves Toyota as the only manufacturer backing the class. Audi and Nissan previously scrapped their LMP1 campaigns.
Regarding the idea of hypercars competing, Palmer said, “My personal perspective is very clear: Aston Martin will never compete in a prototype category because it has no relevance to us. But if they allowed racing derivatives of road cars, that would be very interesting to us and, I suspect, the fans." The executive imagined a class in which the Valkyrie could potentially duke it out with the Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1, and other hypercars.
When asked if the brand would be prepared to enter Le Mans with the Valkyrie as its star racer, Palmer replied, "watch this space."
The roadgoing Valkyrie will boast a 6.2-liter Cosworth-sourced V-12 engine with a KERS-style hybrid system. The powertrain combination may lead to a 1,130 horsepower rating with a Ricardo 7-speed transmission on board for shifting duties, though we don't know if it will be a single- or dual-clutch unit. If that's not good enough, the track-only Valkyrie AMR promises Formula 1-like track times with specific racing tires, less weight, more power, and a ton of downforce.
We'd hate to see the LMP1 class die, but if a class of race-prepped hypercars replaces it, we'll sleep A-OK at night, and fans would indeed find it more interesting.