Let's just say horsepower is involved.
The upcoming Aston Martin Valkyrie is shaping up to be one amazing hypercar. Along with the Mercedes-AMG One, which is reportedly behind schedule, the Valkyrie will literally be the closest thing one can get to a fully road legal Formula 1 car. Not surprisingly, all examples have been spoken for. So it goes. But what about the Valkyrie Le Mans race car? Set to compete in the WEC hypercar class, which replaces the LMP1, next year, will the endurance racer also utilize the same naturally aspirated 6.5-liter Cosworth V12 paired to an F1-style KERS hybrid system? Apparently not.
We can now officially confirm, thanks to Sportscar365, that the race-spec Valkyrie will not be a hybrid. Why? Because the electrical hybrid system would only increase weight and complexity.
Aston Martin Racing president, David King, said the following last weekend at Silverstone: "It's a question that answers itself fairly easily by the choice of engine of the Valkyrie. A combination of the electric and internal combustion engine power has to add up to a certain amount and we've got a massive V12 engine that we're going to detune to make it suitable for racing. The road car does have some hybrid elements to it. The race car won't."
Expect the V12 to be detuned from 1,160 horsepower to around 750 hp, the maximum output allowed.
The V12 alone accounts for about 1,000 hp, so even without the hybrid system Aston Martin has some work to do. "You wouldn't have an engine of that size and weight, and then add the hybrid elements and electric drive elements," King added. "We wouldn't put a smaller engine in it so that we could have a hybrid either. That's why the whole four-wheel-drive/two-wheel-drive equivalence debate was so important leading up to the finalization of the regulations."
For now, only Aston Martin and Toyota have committed to the first "hypercar" class racing season, but others are expected to follow, including Porsche. Interestingly, Toyota's entry, the GR Super Sport, will utilize a hybrid system.