Today's hypercars in Le Mans GT1 spec and racing liveries
The 2018 World Endurance Championship season is just around the corner but - as it stands - there is only one manufacturer left standing in its LMP1 top tier. After a season of Toyota versus Porsche, the Germans have packed in their LMP1 programme, making a mockery of what should be the most engaging end of the WEC.
The fix everyone wants is for the cars to resemble the most extreme road cars on the planet, opening the door for many more manufacturers to show off their pride and joys.
We like to please everyone at DriveTribe and, seeing as it's Christmas, we thought we'd treat you all to something a little special.
Our massively talented renderer Marco Van Overbeeke has set to work on the latest and greatest hypercars that have exploded onto the scene recently. And along with the news that the FIA and ACO are both thinking about what would essentially be a comeback for a GT1 class, we've asked him to imagine such a series and the cars that would make up the field.
The level of detail is quite spectacular so make sure to zoom in and study each car's nooks and crannies.
Mercedes-AMG Project One GT1
Mercedes had a fantastic time of it the last time GT1 was a thing. In fact, the Mercedes CLK GTR was so successful that it actually put an end to the GT1 class, paving the way for the Le Mans Prototype (LMP) era. And if such a class was to return, the brand new F1-powered Project One would be the perfect candidate.
With aerodynamics inspired from the peak of motorsport and a powertrain detuned straight from the world-beating Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 car, the Project One has the capabilities to redefine the term 'hypercar'. And in GT1 form, it could quite easily conquer the motorsport world.
McLaren Senna GT1
The latest edition to McLaren's 'Ultimate Series', the Senna is the epitome of function over form. It isn't the prettiest of machines but that's not the point. As its namesake took control of every track he encountered, it is designed to demolish lap times using cutting edge active aero and a 789bhp version of the 720S's V8.
A three-seater hypercar codenamed 'BP23' is in the works and looks to carry on the GT1-conquering McLaren F1, but for now, it looks like the Senna could be Woking's next Le Mans contender.
Aston Martin Valkyrie GT1
A manufacturer that's had much success in the lower classes of endurance racing recently, Aston Martin has certainly been beating the drum for the comeback of GT1. CEO Andy Palmer has said himself that the FIA has consulted with Aston as to how the rules should change, meaning that the likes of the Valkyrie hypercar could very much shape things to come.
The company has recently unveiled plans to create a track-only Valkyrie AMR Pro, paving the way for Adrian Newey's masterpiece to perform a V12-powered assault on the Circuit De La Sarthe.
Porsche 918 GT1
The most capable car within the current 'holy trinity' is arguably the V8 brute from Stuttgart, although admittedly it's becoming a little long in the tooth compared to the new breed of hypercar from AMG and Aston.
Nevertheless, it is powered by a 4.6-litre V8 engine built on the same architecture as the one used in the RS Spyder Le Mans Prototype racing car, along with some strategic hybridisation. Add in the necessary aero via diffusers, a large rear wing and an F1-style shark fin and Porsche could easily add to its record 19 Le Mans wins with a 918 GT1.
Koenigsegg Agera RS GT1
The Agera RS currently holds the production car top speed record, peaking at a Bugatti-beating 284mph. The kind of aerodynamic efficiency and horsepower needed to accomplish such a feat is the perfect combination for monstering the Mulsanne Straight and the run down to Indianapolis, maximising lap times.
Koenigsegg might not have explored motorsport fully yet but if the plucky Swedish firm fancies such an endeavour, GT1 and the WEC would be a grand showcase.
Ferrari LaFerrari FXX K Evo GT1
As if the 'stock' LaFerrari wasn't manic enough, the FXX K took over from the Enzo-based FXX as the track-only version for esteemed Maranello customers. The Evo has taken things even further thanks to a more extreme aero package that nears the McLaren Senna's levels of functionality.
It was the F50 that was last built to GT1 specifications by Ferrari, and the LaFerrari would make a welcome return for a V12 Fezza to endurance racing. A pre-retirement plan for Vettel? Who knows.
As if nostalgia for cars like the 911 GT1, Nissan R390 GT1 and Mercedes CLK GTR isn't enough for the FIA to resort back to a road car-based class, we can only hope that they see these cars and get the ball rolling with each manufacturer.
In our opinion, the WEC would be much more appealing for fans and manufacturers if cars like the ones seen here would be allowed to sit at the front of the grid. It would reduce costs compared to the financial nightmare that LMP1 is currently and would make the top tier a lot more approachable and meaningful for us spectators. Until the rules change, we can only hope.
Our question for you guys however is, which one of these imagined GT1 racers is your favourite? Which one would you like to see hitting over 200mph down the Mulsanne? Comment with your thoughts below!