Horsepower-obsessed American startup Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus unveiled the road-going variant of the 007 hypercar it designed to dominate the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The model will begin racing by the end of 2020.
For most of the 2010s, taking first overall in the grueling day-long race meant outlasting (and out-spending) major automakers like Audi, Porsche and Toyota to win the LMP1 category, so victory was out of reach for even a well-funded small team like Glickenhaus. However, new regulations coming into effect for the 2020-21 season send LMP1 to the pantheon of automotive history and replace it with a much more affordable class called hypercar. Company founder James Glickenhaus explained he "saw a magical opportunity" to race after reading the rules.
His goal is to become the first American company to take first in the 24 Hours of Le Mans since Ford's last overall victory in 1967. To reach it, the wealthy entrepreneur assembled a world-class team of engineers and designers and commissioned the development of a hypercar capable of giving the Aston Martin Valkyrie a run for its money.
In its street tune, the 2,425-pound 007 receives a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6 engine developed in-house (a stunningly expensive feat) and tuned to deliver 840 horsepower. It's wrapped by a silhouette that looks like an aerodynamic masterpiece, though finer details like how much downforce the body kit generates haven't been published yet. We haven't seen the interior yet, but odds are the race- and road-spec models will share a lot.
The development process has already started, the 007 will undergo extensive wind tunnel testing this month, and Glickenhaus will begin putting it through its paces on a test track in September. If everything goes according to plan, the 007 will represent the United States on the Le Mans starting grid in 2021. To win, it will need to fend off competition from Aston Martin, Peugeot, Toyota and possibly Lamborghini. It's not unreasonable to assume other manufactures will throw their hat in the ring in the coming months.
"We will be standing in the rain at Le Mans, watching a car we created blur past. It will be a proud day for us and America," Glickenhaus said in a statement. Details about the production model will emerge in the coming months.
There may be more than a few 007s tailing the Valkyrie in 2021. The factory-sponsored Glickenhaus team will race the car, but Autocar learned it's open to the idea of selling them to privateers. Pricing will start in the vicinity of $1 million, while the 20 to 30 street-legal units will carry a base price of approximately $2 million.