Few motorsport events are as gruelling, as fast or as dangerous as the 24 hours of Le Mans. This French endurance race plays host to some of the fastest cars hitting speeds well in excess of 200mph down the legendary Mulsanne Straight.
While there are plenty of exciting cars racing in 2016, we couldn’t help but think of a few extra contenders we’d love to see on the grid. To rectify this, we cranked the Photoshop up to eleven to produce these awesome exclusive images of the Le Mans GTE cars we’d love to see.
Audi might be better known for its top-tier LMP1 cars but, if it chose to race in the mid-level GTE category, we’d love to see it field an RS7. Our version features the brand’s corporate livery and an incredibly aggressive aero package to keep things grounded at more than 200mph, along with the top-mounted spoiler that featured on Audi’s R8 race cars. The RS7’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 will be tuned to within an inch of its life to give it the go to match the show.
Mazda RX-Vision Concept
The green and orange Renown livery from Mazda’s legendary 787B top-level entrant looks awesome on any car but we can’t help but feel the firm’s latest RX-Vision concept was born to wear it. Featuring a powerful but unconventional turbocharged rotary engine, the RX-Vision GTE promises a soundtrack that’s as much of an assault on the ears as the paintwork is on the eyes. Naturally, a giant spoiler and a ground-hugging splitter are fitted to keep things glued to the road.
Bentley EXP10 Concept
Bentley has a long history with Le Mans being one of the first brands to take part in the 1920s. It’s made more recent attempts at the title with its Continental GT but we think it’d have a better chance with its EXP10 Concept – thought to preview a new sports car called the Barnato. As befitting the brand, it’s painted in traditional British Racing Green and features enough aero kit to drive upside down through the Channel Tunnel. The familiar 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 would also be specced up to full fire-breathing race tune.
There are few race series that Porsche hasn’t competed in but, considering the fanfare around the brand’s 918 hypercar, it’s surprising a racing version hasn’t been built. If it was, we reckon it’d look something like this. A swept out tail and large, fixed spoiler help keep it planted at more than 200mph, and the car’s 4.6-litre V8 engine and hybrid system would be optimised for the extreme speeds at Le Mans. Like many iconic Porsche race cars, it wears the beautiful white, blue and red Martini livery to help it look the part.
Ford is fielding its latest GT supercar at the 2016 Le Mans but we’d be tempted to walk straight past that car to this – the Mustang GTE race car. Powered by the firm’s latest 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine tuned almost to the point of destruction, the team would be banking that its comparatively lower fuel consumption over the regular 5.0-litre V8 would help them snatch the win by travelling that little bit further come race day. Even if it didn’t, Ford’s EcoBoost livery and blistered aero kit would ensure it’s the coolest car in the paddock.
Aston Martin DB11
Aston Martin might have only just pulled the wraps off the DB11 but we’re sure it’s already plotting a racing version for Le Mans – we’d place our bets on it looking a little like this. Our design features the legendary Gulf blue and orange livery that’s graced some more recent Aston Martin race cars and comes complete with all the aero it needs to battle the top contenders. The car’s new 5.5-litre turbocharged V12 will guarantee it has the aural punch to match the purposeful looks.
The F-Type is one of Jaguar’s greatest success stories, receiving near-universal praise when it launched. As we all know, a great sports car can make for a great racing car, and the F-Type is no exception. We’ve pictured it in Jaguar’s late-1980s Silk Cut livery which is as handsome as it is illegal thanks to today’s strict cigarette advertising rules. Nevertheless, we’re sure the colour will be the last thing on people’s minds when they hear the unholy roar from its 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine.
McLaren is, like some manufacturers here, no stranger to Le Mans having fielded the much respected F1 in the ’90s. Borrowing that car’s stunning white FINA livery, our 675LT is based on the firm’s supercar of the same name. The ‘LT’ comes from the term ‘long tail’ – an extended spoiler fitted to the F1 Le Mans car to aid stability at incredibly high speeds. Our 675LT also has an elongated spoiler to cope with the velocity it can achieve thanks to its 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine.
The BMW i8 already looks like a racing car thanks to its wedge-shaped body – in fact, stick a spoiler and some racing slicks on it and you’re pretty much ready to leave the pit lane. Our design features the Dell computers livery BMW used in its ’90s LMP1 cars – a nod to how advanced this car actually is. It’d have a good chance, too – its 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine and powerful electric motors combine to produce terrifying power with positively tame fuel consumption.
Garage 56 – Morgan Three-Wheeler
In addition to the ‘regular’ supercars that monster up the Mulsanne Straight, Le Mans always allows an unusual or experimental entrant under the title of Garage 56. Joining the ranks of the Delta Wing or this year’s quadriplegic-driven Sausset Racing LMP2 car, is our design – the Morgan Three-Wheeler GTE car. Already an unusual design, our Morgan gets its weirdness cranked up to the max with two giant front tyres and a beefy single rear one. All three are powered by a heavily modified Nissan GT-R powertrain and the Three-Wheeler retains the GT-R’s 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 sat proudly atop the front axle.
Bonus – Porsche 918 (Gulf livery)
Why have one awesome Porsche 918 when you can have two? As an added bonus, we redesigned the 918 to mirror its spiritual predecessor and undisputed Le Mans legend, the Porsche 917. To save weight, almost all the rear bumper has been cut away, leaving just the aerodynamic essentials and stability has been improved thanks to a pair or rudder-like fins on the rear. Like the 917, our 918 wears the blue and orange Gulf livery that’s festooned so many Le Mans winners in the past.
Want to see more mad-cap motors?
If you enjoyed this article, check out our other crazy creations including the WRC rally cars we’d love to see built, the cars we think Euro 2016 teams should drive, the cars Star Wars characters should drive or the cars that’d feature in a UK-based version of Mad Max. Want something more down-to-earth? Check out our car chooser and regularly updated deals page.