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Aston Martin’s interested in the hypercar class at Le Mans
Following Koenigsegg, could AM field an entry in the coming seasons?
December, 2018: the FIA confirms that “sleek, high performance hybrid cars” will race acoss the World Endurance Championship, of which Le Mans forms a significant part, from 2020.
April, 2019: Aston Martin tells TopGear.com that it is quite interested in having a play with this new breed of racing machines that more closely resemble road going HyperThings.
“Why wouldn’t we be interested in entering the hypercar class at Le Mans?” Aston’s executive VP Marek Reichman asks TG.
“Why not? We’ve not declared anything nor said anything yet, but of course, we race cars,” he added.
Aston’s long been a WEC contender, using all manner of Vantages to great success. But with Valkyrie – or indeed the new mid-engined era of 003 (pictured above) and Vanquish about to enter orbit – Aston now has the requisite firepower. And we could be in for a mighty battle.
Not least because Koenigsegg is very interested in entering this new hypercar class too. Company boss Christian has unfinished business there, having originally built the CCGT back in 2007 in a bid to race at Le Mans, only for the rules to be changed and him to be left with a solitary prototype.
“We would love to go and race there,” Christian told TG last year. “We’re so excited by it – finally, there is a chance.”
We’re still a way off seeing these cars lapping a famous track, so let’s talk about a current Aston lapping another moderately famous circuit. At this year’s Shanghai motor show, Aston showed off its first ever fully-electric supercar in the shape of the Rapide E.
Aston noted how the Rapide E’s BEV powertrain – developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering – is able to “deliver its performance in a consistent and repeatable way as would be expected from a traditional Aston Martin”.
So repeatable in fact, it reckons a full lap of the Nürburgring is possible with no “performance derating.” So, what kind of time could this Rapide E put in around the Nürburgring?
“An equivalent Rapide S AMR would be around the eight-minute mark,” Aston tells TG. “This would be in that ballpark or better.”