The FIA and ACO have confirmed the technical regulations for the top class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, which will feature prototype and production-based hypercars in slightly revised configurations than initially announced.
The still-yet-to-be-named category, which the ACO has dubbed ‘Le Mans Prototype Hypercar’ will feature cars of different “origins” according to FIA Endurance Committee President Richard Mille.
A minimum weight of 1100 kg has been confirmed, with a powertrain average of 750 horsepower and the optional use of hybrid powertrains, as previously reported by Sportscar365.
A 200 kW hybrid system can be utilized on the front axle only for a prototype although must be in the same location as its road-going counterpart for production-based models.
Hybrid systems will be managed by “deployment thresholds” and be activated at speeds above 120 km/h in dry conditions. Deployment for wet weather has not yet been defined but is expected to be within the 140-160 km/h range, according to ACO sporting director Vincent Beaumesnil.
Bespoke or modified hypercar engines will be permitted for the prototypes, while production-based powerplants must be used for the road-going hypercars.
The target Le Mans lap time will be 3:30 in “average” race conditions, down from the initial projection for the platform initially announced last year, which had been entirely prototype-based.
Balance of Performance will be utilized between the different hypercar platforms and can be adjusted throughout the season.
For manufacturers utilizing road-based hypercars, a minimum of 20 units must be produced over a two-year period and safety structures will be based on the road-going designs.
Beaumesnil said that two sets of technical guidelines, prototype and road car, will be submitted to the FIA World Motor Sport Council today for approval, with the intention of having a single set of regulations at a later date.
LMP1 non-hybrids, meanwhile, will be grandfathered in for the 2020-21 season, Beaumesnil confirmed.
The confirmation of the Hypercar regs comes one year after the initial Hypercar concept was revealed at Le Mans and initially confirmed by the FIA World Motor Sport Council in December, as a prototype-based formula only.
Production-based hypercars were then added to the eligibility in March, in a bid to attract additional manufacturers including Aston Martin and McLaren, while further tweaks to the regulations were made last month.
While considerations were made for both the so-called GTE-Plus concept of upstaged production-based cars as well as IMSA’s current DPi platform, neither have been embraced under the revised regulations.