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FIA Confirms ‘Hypercar’ Design Concept for New Prototype Class

FIA reveals ‘hypercar’ design concept for top prototype class in 2020-21…

Photo: James Moy/Toyota

The FIA has confirmed that the new set of top-level prototype regulations will feature design concepts based on hypercars when it goes into effect in the 2020-21 World Endurance Championship season.

A summary of the new technical regs, which remain in discussion, were presented to the FIA World Motor Sport Council on Thursday in Manila.

Further details are set to be released next week in Le Mans.

Among the points discussed include a targeted budget reduction of 75 percent from current LMP1 factory budgets and the freedom for manufacturers to design cars “based on a hypercar concept.”

The presentation follows more than nine months of discussions between the FIA, ACO and manufacturers to define the new ruleset, which was developed in the wake of Porsche’s exit from LMP1 competition.

ACO President Pierre Fillon previously revealed plans for a “GTP-like” concept, which would see manufacturers build prototypes that bear resemblance to its high-end production cars.

At least five manufacturers: Toyota, Ford, McLaren, Aston Martin and Ferrari, have been in roundtable meetings for the new regs, which could also be adopted in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

A targeted budget of one-quarter of the current LMP1 budgets, meanwhile, would put it in the range of €25 million ($30 million) per season.

Thursday’s WMSC meeting also confirmed a new initiative from the WEC to “encourage the participation” of female drivers.

Details of that initiative, along with the technical regulations, will be presented at the ACO’s annual press conference on June 15.

As expected,  the Endurance Committee’s proposal to shorten the length of the 2019 Sebring event from 1500 to 1,000 miles was approved, thus confirming the revised 2018-19 WEC schedule.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

57 Comments

57 Comments

  1. daedalus

    June 7, 2018 at 7:11 am

    As always the devil is in the details but $30 million is still a bit pricey for small outfits like Aston Martin but reasonable for the big OEMs like Ford and Toyota. This would also effectively ban privateers from LMP1 as well with those prices unless they grandfather the current LMP1 cars in.

    Can’t see the IMSA teams being able to afford these budgets either considering the lower global exposure in IMSA. GM and Acura could at a shove do it but its probably beyond ESMs and Mazdas budget considering their budgets are between $5 and $10 Million currently.

    Its also worth pointing out that if these hypercars start looking similar to GTE cars it will be hard for a manufacture to justify running in both which could hurt GTE.

    • Change it up

      June 7, 2018 at 7:22 am

      Are you like a financial advisor to all these manufacturers? Or did you spend days sifting through their financial statements?

      • Dave D

        June 7, 2018 at 7:49 am

        He is just a mister know it all

        • daedalus

          June 7, 2018 at 10:07 am

          No I just know people who know it all lol

          • Lesspowers

            June 7, 2018 at 12:08 pm

            Not really well. You data on GM is incorrect.

        • Andy Flinn

          June 8, 2018 at 12:03 pm

          Dave, he is right about at least one thing. SOD’s Cadillac DPi budget isn’t anywhere near $30-$40 million.

          $120 million for an LMP1 hybrid technology prototype?

          What did the WEC THINK was going to happen to LMP1?

    • Matt

      June 7, 2018 at 7:39 am

      Acura and Mazda are interested in these regulation for IMSA, as are Ford, McLaren and Toyota for WEC. Cadillac DPi reportedly has a budget as high as 20 million.

      These regulations shouldn’t target small companies like Aston Martin, anyway, while the privateers could still continue if they will be allowed to not use a hybrid system. And they certainly won’t look like GTE, and they won’t be much slower than current cars, so I don’t see any problem with this.

    • Andy

      June 7, 2018 at 7:45 am

      I think mostly for teams/manufacturers who run in WEC but for IMSA? No way Chevy would drop the Vette or Porsche the 911. Ferrari I could see taking a cycle off but selling 488s has been profit making or so has been claimed. Aston Martin and Ford I could see taking off for the front of the field racing, but the customer racing AMR program might be enough to keep them around.

      New teams coming in, ala the usual Lamborghini or Bentley I think would be right out and over to the front of the field. Bentley has said they want to race at the front and GTE isn’t the front. Lamborghini could be a tough one as Audi/Porsche may want to play again and push Lamborghini could be left behind in GTs.

      • MikeT66

        June 7, 2018 at 10:33 am

        That’s a good point about the difference between WEC and IMSA, Andy – I thought Ford and McLaren had said they would only be interested in new top tier of GT cars if they could be raced in both the WEC and IMSA.

        It’s an interesting development, though, and if it has got the manufacturers’ attention then that could be a good thing. I can see the potential of a series featuring hypercars of McLaren, Ford, Ferrari, Porsche, etc, very much like the old Kremer 911s of yesteryear.

    • Jess Deason

      June 7, 2018 at 10:03 am

      What do you think the LMP-1 teams were spending the past few years. Budgets were in the $225M+ range. The current LMP-1 privateers have a $40M budget. A $40-50M budget to operate two LMP-1 cars is a bargain, especially with a limited hybrid system. While it may not be for IMSA, Ford has already told IMSA they are going to finish the GT platform and want to go prototype racing with identical chassis for both IMSA and WEC. No privateer is going to complain about spending $35-40M to race. If one does not like it then go do something else.

      • AudiTT

        June 7, 2018 at 9:39 pm

        The $30m-$40m budgets are for a factory WEC program. It’s in the ballpark of what Peugeot where spending. A privateer budget is many time less, especially if buying a customer car.

    • kv

      June 11, 2018 at 11:50 am

      Grandfathering as many LMP2/DPi components will keep costs down,as many current cars can convert

  2. Dave

    June 7, 2018 at 7:12 am

    Warmer…..warmer….you’re almost there……..

    I’m hoping, but I’n sure in the end the cars will need to be built out of reclaimed foil or solar powered or something. I am, however, looking forward to Porsche’s full-race version of the 918 successor.

  3. Anonymous

    June 7, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Mayber I’m the E’or in the room but I can’t help thinking that Prototype racing is doomed! To be replaced with a class of racing machine that appears to be designed to justify a handful of road going, Million Pound “technical exercises” from the likes of Ferrari, Aston Martin and McLaren. But in the interest of fairness I’ll wait until the first few machines break cover before making judgement, as I will no longer support a series that’s “Top Class” is made up of glorified GT Cars.

    Sorry about that! Rant Over!

    • jason

      June 7, 2018 at 11:02 am

      They are called “sportscars” dude (Mr. Anonymous). That makes me think of Ferrari 488s and Porsche 911s. Prototypes are F1 cars with a roof and fenders. This is meant to bring the “sportscar” back to prototype racing. Don’t have a cow. If you don’t like it then by all means leave and just enjoy F1.

    • AudiTT

      June 7, 2018 at 9:43 pm

      GTP will be pure prototypes.

      The only major changes will be aero that will allow manufacturers to focus more on styling than pure performance.

      • Anonymous

        June 8, 2018 at 5:08 am

        So what your saying is that the concept has a whiff of DPi about it? That I wouldn’t have a problem with! I’ll probably end up eating humble pie when these cars finally turn up!

        • kv

          June 11, 2018 at 12:01 pm

          DRIVER ADJUSTABLE AERO,FRONT AND REAR,is cost effective ,and the answer to hybrid !

  4. Ramshoek

    June 7, 2018 at 8:19 am

    I like the idea of Le Mans proto’s looking a bit more like a car that (after the ‘prototype’ phase) could actually drive on this worlds roads.

    But the question to me is: Will these GTP’s look like ‘glorified’ GT cars or will future hypercars look like current day LMP’s?

    • Johann Ritter

      June 7, 2018 at 8:52 am

      “Will these GTP’s look like ‘glorified’ GT cars or will future hypercars look like current day LMP’s?”

      Spot on. Expect various manufacturers to announce plans for hypercars that look quite racey in a similar pattern to the Toyota GT-One road car, which was definitely a road car that just happened to be the right shape for GT1. The name was a coincidence.

    • FlyingLobster27

      June 7, 2018 at 8:54 am

      It could go either way IMO. Just look at the GT1s from the 90s.

    • aserl

      June 7, 2018 at 10:02 am

      Ah, that is the question???

    • Change it up

      June 7, 2018 at 11:09 am

      Just look at Aston’s hypercar they showed off not long ago. Wonder what implications this will have on Dallara, Oreca, Ligier, Ginetta, etc. Will they make their own class of hypercars? If these things can go just as fast as current LP2/DPi I will be thrillingly entertained. Though if there is less passing involved it might be a deal breaker to make them the top class.

      • AudiTT

        June 7, 2018 at 9:49 pm

        The likes of Ginetta, Dallara and Oreca are involved in the discussions. They will continue building customer cars just as they do now. These are pure prototypes. It’s upto the builder what aero style they use.

        The cars are planned to be as quick as current LMP1’s. So a significant step above LMP2/DPI.

  5. A Sleeper From Pittsburg

    June 7, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Welcome the age of DPi-H.

    • Steven

      June 7, 2018 at 4:57 pm

      You mean the return of GTP? DPi is nothing but a band-aid by IMSA to keep 4 manufacturers racing in Prototypes.

      • Andy Flinn

        June 8, 2018 at 11:11 am

        Wow, Steven, if that’s true, WEC LMP2 is just an excuse for gentleman racer privateers to achieve wins and receive trophies in prototypes.

  6. N8

    June 7, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Dust off your Coolio CD’s, it’s 1995 all over again. Prediction – by 2024, OEM driven budgets will be back at aerospace levels until we’re left with just one, then we’ll re-enter the age of privateer-fielded prototypes. The cycle continues….which is fine. I enjoyed the previous proto-GT era at Le Mans.

    Are we not past the point of “encouraging” the participation of females? Is someone making the argument that there’s a gender bias in the sportscar racing? If it matters, there are a LOT of unrepresented demographics in this sport. Look up and down the pit lane. Women isn’t one of them.

  7. Azuma

    June 7, 2018 at 9:12 am

    What will the class layout look like when GTP comes in?

    Will the WEC go with the same class layout as the IMSA Champs?:

    WEC – GTP, GTE and GT3.
    ELMS – LMP3, GTE and GT3.
    IMSA – GTP, GTLM and GTD.

    • Johannes275

      June 7, 2018 at 3:12 pm

      that is of course, assuming that LMP2 completely disappears from existence, which it won’t.

  8. Brian

    June 7, 2018 at 9:22 am

    I still can’t help but think this is the ACO refusing to accept the fact that the IMSA DPI concept is more stable and healthy than the FIA WEC LMP1 at the moment. I guess we will see, but I’m worried about GTE being adversely affected by this………

    • AudiTT

      June 7, 2018 at 9:58 pm

      DPI is 18 months old and it’s already impossible to balance them with LMP2. It’s wasted development budget. DPI needs to be let off the leash, not pegged back to $500k LMP2 cars. It’s even more important in WEC/ELMS to have a distinct top class ahead of LMP2.

      GTP will be very different to GTE. The only real crossover is the Ford GT which is basically a prototype as it is.

      • kv

        June 11, 2018 at 12:21 pm

        FORD GT is turnkey as a GTP,AND THE C8 CORVETTE IS NEXT IN CLASS !

  9. RobertB

    June 7, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Call me cynical, but I’m warming up my eyes for some serious rolling when the details of this comes out:

    “Thursday’s WMSC meeting also confirmed a new initiative from the WEC to “encourage the participation” of female drivers.”

    Some sports and jobs just aren’t attractive to females. That’s fine. That’s reality. They will most likely always be a minority in motorsports. If WEC does some sort of pandering or special treatment toward women, isn’t that in itself sort of sexist?

    • MalthusUnderestimated

      June 7, 2018 at 9:05 pm

      Agreed. If there were an organic ground swell of female racers that would be one thing. Most women do not care about racing nor need they.

      The idea that diversity is an end in itself is dangerous – particularly when diversity is defined not by diversity of thought or character but when it is reduced to politically fashionable quotas based on gender, race, ethnicity and other surface characteristics.

      Racing is supposed to be about competition, risk and evolving ideas of technological input (not always more tech = better) NOT politics or saving the world for that matter. But the ACO/FIA are seeking to make it just that.

      As for a GTP-like formula with real cost reduction, that could work. As others have said, the devil will be in the details. Time will tell.

    • Andy Flinn

      June 8, 2018 at 11:40 am

      Bob, why would encouraging women to participate in motorsports “pandering”?

      Lyn St. James, when given the opportunity, was faster than her husband in the same IMSA Corvette.

      Also, the GTP (Rondeau M382) that almost won the first WSC (WEC) championship in 1982, against the mighty factory Porsche 956s, was partially named after Marjorie Brosse (“M”), a French female politician who passionately supported Rondeau’s team from the start. Lella Lombardi and Christine Beckers – both women – also drove one of Rondeau’s Inaltera GTPs at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1977. They qualified fourth, right next to the boss in third, but DNF’ed.

      I’m a frequent critic of the WEC ($120 million LMP1 budgets for hybrid technology is simply INSANE) but I like this initiative.

      It’s 2018. Let’s progress.

      • Parker

        June 12, 2018 at 9:36 am

        Make Prototype Racing Great Again

  10. Azuma

    June 7, 2018 at 9:43 am

    Glad to see that five manufacturers have already having meetings about the new regs.

    Cars the five might use:
    Aston Martin – Valkyrie
    Ferrari – LaFerrari
    Ford – ?
    McLaren – Senna
    Toyota – ?

    Others:
    Mercedes-AMG – Project One
    Porsche – 918
    Acura – ?
    Mazda – ?

    Can’t wait for the 2020-21 season.

    • Alfaxa

      June 7, 2018 at 11:03 am

      I’m pretty sure manufacturers won’t be using any of those cars or any future hypercars. The new top-class are still going to be prototypes, they will just look a bit like a hypercar. They’ll probably be glorified DPi-esque cars.

    • jason

      June 7, 2018 at 11:07 am

      That would be great if it turned out like that. Hopefully Porsche could still use that great sounding engine that the 911 RSR has. Ford I’m sure could come up with a GT on steroids.

      Granted I don’t think GTE would survive on its own. There would have to be a GT3 merger at this point.

  11. aesthetics

    June 7, 2018 at 9:48 am

    no giant ugly fins please

  12. Bogey

    June 7, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Legge vs Patrick vs Duno

    Can’t wait for 2020.

    • Andy Flinn

      June 8, 2018 at 11:48 am

      Legge won the GTD round in an Acura for MSR at Detroit last weekend.

      Funny, I’ve never seen “Bogey” listed in any race results.

      • Holmes

        June 9, 2018 at 4:03 am

        Where in Bogey’s comments did he say Kathrine had no talent. Of the three mentioned, Kathrine by far is the best. I was there in Long Beach and San Jose when she won in Atlantics. Even when she was in the Delta Wing I was rooting for her. She has the talent to race Prototypes if someone gave her a chance.

        Patrick and Duno, that’s another story.

  13. Marc

    June 7, 2018 at 11:38 am

    $30 million, which I assume is for a 2-car team, is well above (3x-4x) the current IMSA DPi budget. Don’t see this happening in NA unless OEs really open up their pocket books.

    In IMSA, the Cadillac and Nissan teams need sponsor money to run. I don’t see how Konica Minolta, Mustang Sampling nor Whelen would want to up their contribution more than it is at now.

    Mazda and Acura obviously foot the bills for those teams… are they willing to spend significantly more?

    • AudiTT

      June 7, 2018 at 10:01 pm

      I’d be amazed if the top DPI programs aren’t north of $20m. GTE is well above $10m and it’s well known IMSA budgets are on par with WEC.

      • Marc

        June 8, 2018 at 9:45 am

        Not sure if I can post outside links, but in an Automobile article from Jan 2017 titled: “Power Play: How IMSA’s Game Plan Has FIA WEC on the Backfoot” the quoted budget is “less than $15 million, including marketing activation and partnerships.” Obviously, running costs for just the cars would even be less.

        But for arguments sake, lets say a DPi 2-car program + marketing + activation + misc = $15million per year. It’s not insignificant jump to then ask OEs to spend $30 million per year.

  14. Tenkamenin Crowder

    June 7, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Where dose this leave privateers like SMP and Rebellion they don’t want to somebodys customer

  15. hype

    June 7, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Why are you all making a big stink about the budget? Its a CAP on the budget…. doesnt say these teams MUST spend that. This is so PORSCHE or TOYOTA or McLAREN dont come in a spend 200+ Million a year.

    Smalled private teams came come in and spend as much as they need, ala DPi level budgets.

  16. edo

    June 7, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    These Cars Will mantain the same monoque design as today, so it’s not gt1. Basically it’s an evolution of the dpi concept, so privateers will remain lmp1 as we have today. Yes, the point about imsa is not showed, but teorically the EOT will allow petrol engines to compete with the other tecnologies, so if an imsa manufacturer want to spend less,It can compete with the wec ones.

  17. JG

    June 7, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    As long as they get rid of the currently mandated wheel arch cutouts and fin it will work, otherwise making a car look anything like a production car/hypercar will be impossible unless the teams ignore the aero penalties, which so far only Mazda has done. There is a reason why the RT-24P is the best looking car out there right now.

    GET RID OF THE “BIG HONKING HOLES” AND DORSAL FIN. PERIOD.

  18. Steven

    June 7, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    If it brings back the 1995-1999 GT1/GTP, I’m all for it.

    • TF110

      June 7, 2018 at 10:48 pm

      Same here. Proshce 911 GT1 ’98 and Mercedes CLR are some of the best examples of road car look mixed in with prototypes. That was the real GTP.

  19. Andy Flinn

    June 8, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    TF110, real GTP began in 1981 in IMSA with the Lola T-600. Brian Redman used one to defeat an army of previously dominant Porsche 935s, as well as other GTPs, and win the championship. Despite a variety of design options in Group C in 1982, the factory and privateer Porsche 956s dominated almost immediately. Then the Jaguar, Mercedes and Peugeot factory cars took over, ran off the Porsche privateers and killed the WEC.

    Meanwhile, in IMSA, Lola, March, Jaguar, Ford (and later the Corvette GTP) achieved success. Then Porsche’s redesigned 956 (the 962), released mid-’84, started dominating IMSA in 1985 and for several years after in the hands of multiple privateers. Finally, Jaguar, Nissan, Mazda and Toyota factory cars took over, ran off Porsche privateers and killed IMSA GTP.

    Also, despite being rather short-lived, IMSA GTP (1981 through 1993) still managed to last longer than both the WSC/WEC (1982 through 1992) and the brief FIA GT1 era (1995-1999).

  20. Prototype 1

    June 8, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    these were made by a person named Marco van Overbeeke

    https://www.motorsport.com/wec/event/hypercars-livery-concept-194649/

    Maybe these could be the New GTP cars.

  21. Matty

    June 8, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    For Christmas sake Gerard Neveu, we don’t need even faster LMP1s on the Mulsanne, 3:14 pole times are fast enough, good grief.

  22. JUAN CARLOS CARLOS ALMIRON

    June 16, 2018 at 2:40 am

    WHEN PORSCHE OR MERCEDES ARE BEATEN ; THEY QUIT FOR A YEAR OR TWO , MEANS IS NOT CONVENIENT FOR THEM ! TOYOTA SPEND YEARS OF LEARNING , DEVELOPING ,TO FINALLY SHOW ;IT IS COMPETITIVE AND DURABILITY TO THE WORLD . AND KNOW ? WINDS OF CHANGE AGAIN ?OHHH NOT CONVENIENT FOR PORSCHE , AUDI , MERCEDES ? BECAUSE THE JAPANESE ARE COMING ? …WELL HOW ABOUT WEIGHT ,HORSEPOWER ,RIDE HEIGHT,NO GROUND EFFECT,CONTROLLED PROTOTYPE FORMULA ,BUT FREE DESIGN OF SPORTS CAR WITH TWO SEATS !! WEC ,IS A MIRROR TO THE WORLD AND LE MANS IS EXPOSURE FOR ANY MANUFACTURER ,,A DREAM FOR PRIVATEERS ,OR POINT OF SALE FOR MANY RACING TEAMS WITH A GRADE OF SUCCESS ! SO THE BASIC LAW FOR WEC IS NOT TO CHANGE AND STEER THE RULES FOR A MINIMUM OF TEN YEARS ,BUT YES BASED ON TEAMS INPUT ALLOW CHANGES FOR SAFETY OR DURABILITY ; AND KEEP POLICING THOSE TEAMS WHO ARE USING NEW ENGINES OR TRANS EVERY RACE ,OR THOSE WITH 15 MEN AND COMPUTERS ADJUSTING TELEMETRY EVERY SECOND !! THERE ARE AREAS OF PERFORMANCE ,BY CONSUMPTION ,SET OF TIRES ALLOWED,BECAUSE HYPER TECHNOLOGY, HYBRID HORSEPOWER BECAME ONE TEAM SHOW , AND HIGHLY EXPENSIVE !! SO RETURN TO 5 LITTER FERRARIS, ASTONS , MCLAREN,PEUGEOT, RENAULT,NISSAN, TOYOTA , PORSCHE,AUDI,BMW,SPORTS CARS AND CONTROLLED PROTOTYPES ,BUDGET MINDED FORMULAS , FOR EVERY RACING TEAM ,NOT ONLY MERCEDES , TOYOTA PORSCHE ,AUDI ,ETC !!

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