The team has opted to design an entirely new hybrid system. The hybrid racer will be four-wheel drive, with a 3.5 litre V6 twin-turbo powering the rear axle with 671bhp. The front-axle will have 270bhp provided to it with an electric motor.
The total power is capped at 500kW (671bhp) in LMH rules, with the GR010 Hybrid’s advanced electronics dictate the amount of hybrid boost used to ensure it doesn’t go over the limit
The team’s 2020 driver line-up is being retained, with WEC champions Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López manning the no7 car and 2020 Le Mans winners Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley taking on the no8.
With the Toyota team so well prepared, things are looking ominous for other Hypercar entrants.
Glickenhaus – confirmed (2021 entry)
The American Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus team intends to enter two of its Italian-built SCG007s in WEC and Le Mans this year. It has gone non-hybrid, plumping for a bespoke twin-turbo V8 produced by Pipo Moteurs.
The US-based company recently announced a link-up with 15-times Le Mans winner Joest Racing, who will provide personnel and support to the race team. Sauber have been employed to develop the aerodynamics, the Swiss squad having won Le Mans overall with Mercedes in 1989.
When quizzed on who would drive for the team, team founder James Glickenhaus was bullish: “Getting top drivers in today’s world, who want to win Le Mans, it’s not a difficult task,” he said. “We’ll have great drivers – that won’t be a problem.”
Glickenhaus wasn’t wrong: the team first announced Daytona 24 Hours winner Ryan Briscoe and Le Mans LMP2 class winner Gustavo Menezes, followed by two-times Le Mans winner Romain Dumas, Daytona winner Richard Westbrook, Daytona and three-times Sebring 12 Hours winner Pipo Derani, LMP2 race-winner Olivier Pla and experienced endurance racer Franck Mailleux.
Peugeot – confirmed (2022 entry)
Peugeot announced in November 2019 that it was returning to the top table of endurance racing, looking to emulate its LMP1 years which resulted in overall Le Mans victory in 2009.
No shots of the full cars have been revealed, but Peugeot has stated its hybrid intent as it unveiled a twin-turbo, 2.6-litre V6 engine which will power the car.
A 671bhp petrol engine provides drive to the rear wheels, while a 268bhp electric motor powers drive those at the front.
The 165kg powertrain apparently took inspiration from the diesel-powered 908 line, which was in its ‘09 winner, as well as the four-cylinder turbo WRC car run by sister company Citroen.
The team doesn’t yet know if it’ll be ready for the start of the 2022 season. As mentioned above, Peugeot has mirrored the other Hypercar entrants by going down the prototype route, as well as imitating the V6 of Toyota and Glickenhaus.
Peugeot has now confirmed its driver line-up. Kevin Magnussen makes the switch from F1, accompanied by two-time Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne, 2020 Le Mans LMP2 winner Paul Di Resta, 2013 overall winner Loïc Duval, Gustavo Menezes and Mikkel Jensen.
Ferrari — confirmed (2023 entry)
Ferrari announced its Le Mans Hypercar programme in February, after several months of speculation. The team had openly said that it was examining the possibility and will now return to the Le Mans 24 Hours race on its centenary.
Adding to its current tally of nine overall wins is undoubtedly the target.
“In over 70 years of racing, on tracks all over the world, we led our closed-wheel cars to victory by exploring cutting-edge technological solutions: innovations that arise from the track and make every road car produced in Maranello extraordinary,” Ferrari president John Elkann said.
“With the new Le Mans Hypercar programme, Ferrari once again asserts its sporting commitment and determination to be a protagonist in the major global motorsport events.”
Few details have yet been released, but the team confirmed that development is underway.
Speaking earlier, while Ferrari’s involvement was uncertain, its head of sport car activities Antonello Coletta said: “The most important question is whether we can have a link with a road car. Having our own chassis is a must, and we will see in the future if it is possible to have a new supercar.”
ByKolles – uncertain
Unusually, ByKolles has developed a hypercar apparently in time for the 2021 season but has declined to take part.
It’s thought that a dispute with the WEC organisers has contributed to this, meaning that it’s not known when the car will race.
A mainstay of the LMP1 class since 2014, ByKolles went down the prototype route, but intend to produce a road car version also.
Currently PMC Project LMH, the Hypercar will be produced both as a track day car and a road car, in addition to the racing model,
The road car will produce over 1000bhp and have a hybrid system but the LMH will be reined in at 700bhp, in part due to the fact it will be running a normally aspirated non-hybrid system.
Although the full powertrain details are yet to be released, it’s thought that the team will carry over its Gibson V6 from its ENSO CLM P1/01 LMP1 challenger, eschewing the hybrid route.
Ford was involved in negotiating the rules for LMH, and was thought to have expressed an interest in developing a new Hypercar of its own, but the company appears to be leaning towards the more cost-effective LMDh ruleset.
McLaren was also a widely mooted a candidate, but since changed tack and pushed (successfully) for LMH/LMDh convergence. However, its announcement of having an option on Formula E for the 2022-2023 season has likely delayed any potential Le Mans plans.