Aston Martin Valkyrie heads to FIA World Endurance Championship hypercar class

At least two automakers have now signed on to the LMP1 class' successor.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
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The Valkyrie already looks insane in road-legal spec, so I can only imagine how nutso the WEC version will be.

Aston Martin

Le Mans prototype race cars are going away, and in their place will be a new top-tier racing class that will pit race-spec hypercars -- which must have road-legal counterparts, mind you -- against one another starting in 2020. Toyota has already discussed its desire to enter this class, and now, a famed British automaker is ready to throw its hat in the ring, too.

announced on Friday that it intends to run a modified version of its Valkyrie hypercar in the FIA World Endurance Championship's upcoming Hypercar class. This series won't start until after the conclusion of next year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, but it sounds like Aston Martin is ready to hit the ground running with perhaps the most bonkers car it's ever constructed.

Starting in the 2020/2021 "Super Season," Aston Martin will field at least two Valkyries through its in-house works racing program. Its 6.5-liter V12 will be cranked until the dial breaks off, but a lot of what we'll see on the track is already apparent in the Valkyrie's road-legal form, as well as its track-only AMR Pro trim. It already looks like a Le Mans prototype, and its carbon fiber construction means it's nice and lightweight.

"We have always said that we would one day bring Aston Martin back to Le Mans with the intention of going for the outright win when the time was right – now is that time," said Andy Palmer, President and CEO of Aston Martin Lagonda, in a statement. "David Brown came here in 1959, with a car and a team of drivers capable of winning. We intend to do the same in 2021. What could be more evocative than the wail of an Aston Martin V12 leading the charge into the night on the Mulsanne straight?"

There will probably be some time before we learn more about the Le Mans-spec Valkyrie, but the road-legal version's numbers are pretty terrifying as-is. The street-spec Valkyrie uses a hybrid powertrain that puts out a net 1,160 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. The engine will rev to 11,100 rpm, which should sound righteous. Only 150 standard Valkyrie models will be built, and the hardcore, track-only Valkyrie AMR Pro is limited to just 25 cars.

2020 Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro is 1,100 hp of retina-searing cool

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Watch this: Driving the Aston Martin Valkyrie on the Red Bull F1 simulator