The FIA and ACO have revealed more of the "Hypercar" Le Mans / WEC regulations set to be introduced for the 2020 racing season... Reverting more towards a road relevant and cost effective technology for the 2020 racing season, the FIA have confirmed more details about the revolutionary rule set to be introduced into the World Endurance Championship and Le Mans 24 Hours for the next five years, marking the end of the current LMP1 Prototype era. Set to be in place for the 2020 season and at least the following five years, the new rules have been designed to attract a wider range of manufacturers to endurance racing, whilst promising to be approximately one quarter of the cost currently associated with running a competitive Prototype team in WEC and Le Mans. With full specification expected towards the end of the year, the FIA in partnership with the ACO have used the Le Mans platform this weekend to brief journalists further on the aims and intentions of the latest changes coming to the World Endurance Championship, confirming that the new top tier class of the category should better represent manufacturer vehicles available to drive on the road, with body shapes resembling hypercars, supercars, luxury GTs or concept cars, something akin to the FIA GT1 World Championship machines of the late 1990's and early 2000's. According to the FIA, the new rules should have a focus on aesthetics, and the use of hybrid technology, KERS and four wheel driver are some of the cornerstones of the new category. Although these are expensive technologies, it is expected that a cost cap might be put in place to ensure excessive spending is avoided by the manufacturers, with direct use in road going machines one of the mandatory requirements of the hybrid package. Also on the table will be "free the choice of combustion engine at a predetermined and fixed cost", with the FIA keen to see variety in the top level of endurance racing both in terms of car shape and engine style, whist remaining focussed on keeping costs under control and the regulations sustainable and technically challenging. “What has been announced today is the first step in a new direction for the premier class of the FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The new regulations are a framework that will be attractive to more manufacturers and teams, while at the same time retaining the excitement of endurance racing for existing fans to enjoy and to attract a new generation of spectator to the sport. The proposals announced today include cost limiting measures, making hybrid power more affordable and building a future for endurance with renewable energy. From 2020 the front of the grid will look very different and it is an exciting prospect that we are all looking forward to seeing.” said Richard Mille, President of the FIA Endurance Commission. With more teams, more manufacturers, sleeker and more recognisable body shapes and a focus on bringing some of the glamor back to endurance racing, understandably Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouestt is excited for the future of long distance racing on the world stage: “Crafting these regulations was particularly satisfying as very quickly it sparked interest and gained the support of competitors or potential competitors. A new era will dawn in 2020 for endurance racing. On paper it has enormous potential. Le Mans 2018, 2019 and 2020 will each be outstanding editions, but now I can’t wait for the start at the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans.” The full FIA press release can be read below: A new top class for the FIA World Endurance Championship will be launched for 2020-2024: sleeker prototypes with more marque cachet. While these racing cars will cut quite an imposing figure, they will also retain the usage of a hybrid system while leaving free the choice of combustion engine at a predetermined and fixed cost. The name of the new class will be chosen by popular vote. The 2020-2024 plan will usher in a new era of endurance racing with an ultramodern style of prototype, with a name to be determined by fans of the FIA WEC. Super Sportscar, GTPrototype, Le Mans Supercars or Le Mans Hypercars? The choice is the fans’! The regulations, devised by the FIA and the ACO, focus on the appearance, style and lines of the cars in the new premier league. Team and car diversity in endurance racing is one of the discipline’s foremost trademarks, never truer with the emergence of these stylized yet muscular cars, veritable racing beasts in the spirit and image of endurance. They will take on circuits like Le Mans, Spa, Silverstone, Fuji and Sebring in the day and night, rain or shine, in hot weather as in cold. That calls for a tough prototype, one as imposing as it is ingenious and technological. One that turns heads, like hypercars, supercars, prestigious GTs and concept cars do on the street or at any given motor show. Aerodynamics cannot take precedence over aesthetics. Being the top class, these new prototypes must be technologically powerful and compelling in design and will therefore remain hybrid, with a KERS system in front and 4WD to ensure energy efficiency. This technology will become more and more popular as the KERS system developed by some constructors will have to be used on production cars at a pre-defined price. These new prototypes will have an alluring design and incredible pace. The regulations seek excellence: 3:20.00 per lap at Le Mans with limited fuel. The other priority is cost. They will be remarkable, competitive, innovative and affordable - requiring around a quarter of current budgets. Costly developments will be kept in check by a new homologation procedure and technical rules that will naturally reduce budgets. However, there will be no restrictions on engine selection. Consumption rules will ensure fair competition between different systems. The new regulations will take effect for 2020-2024. Exciting times ahead for long distance racing fans..! Can't get enough of #LM24? Continue reading the rest of our 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans files or subscribe to our social media channels for instant updates during the 24 Hours of Le Mans weekend: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Do you like the sound of the new regs? Do you think the 2020 rule set will improve the spectacle of WEC endurance racing? Let us know in the comments section below!