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Le Mans 2018 car reveals

The Le Mans 24 hours is one of the biggest automotive events of the year and sometimes, manufacturers decide to unveil their brand new, top of the line luxury and supercars there. This year was no different. Not only did we get to see the covers come off some beautiful new road cars, we also got to see the first outings of the newest race cars on the market.
If you were lucky enough to be at the circuit for most of the week, you may have seen a few cars hidden by covers most notably of which were at the Ferrari and BMW stands in the “village”. Both manufacturers decided to show off their new creations during the lack of running on the Friday.

The first car to see sunlight was the special edition 488 Pista Piloti. This is basically just a Ferrari 488 Pista with a paint job and a speccable carbon rear wing. At the unveiling, we were told that the paint is designed to replicate the 2017 WEC championship winning 488 GTE racecar with official FIA WEC logo along with the customer’s desired racing number on the door and steering wheel. They have also designed a slightly modified rear wing in visible carbon-fibre. So how do you get one? Well unfortunately, even being a millionaire isn’t enough to satisfy Ferrari’s demands. Being a special edition, this car is only accessible to their customers who race in the Ferrari Challenge series otherwise known as “Piloti Ferrari” hence the name 488 Pista PILOTI.

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The second car to be unveiled on the Friday before the race was the brand-new BMW 8 series. This was the first time the public had seen this car as at previous shows we were only allowed to see concept versions. The exact model we got to see was the M850i xDrive. This is the model the new GTE racecar is derived from so we all know it’s just there to help homologate the racing variant in the same way Ford has built the GT. In all honesty, I think this car looks just like any BMW except a bit bigger and with slightly more aggressive lines around the front and rear. I guess this is how BMW want the car to look as it’s not meant to be a flashy car like a Rolls or Maybach I just wasn’t as interested by it as the old 8 series with the massive V12 and pop-up headlights. The cherry on the cake of the unveiling of this car was before the race during the preparation of the grid, BMW sent the road car out to do a lap of the circuit with the GTE race car giving us a great comparison of the looks and sound of the two.

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Speaking of the track, Aston Martin had some goodies for the motorsport fans with the Aston Martin festival race. It was a race that put together all kinds of track only Astons from the GT4 Vantage to the first outing of the Vulcan AMR pro. They used the race to not only pop the even quicker Vulcan’s cherry but also to show off the brand new GT3 car doing what it does best… Pushing the limit of speed. On the outside, the new GT3 car looks almost exactly the same as the new GTE variant, they even use the same Mercedes 4 litre turbo V8. However, on the inside, it’s a very different animal. GT3 is designed as a customer category meaning making the cars easier to drive thanks to less downforce, less power and all kinds of electronic gadgets and gismos giving a wider operating window helping driveability.

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Aston also let the GT4 version of the car loose in the same race. Apparently, all these cars are based off each other whilst still meeting the regulations of each category meaning lower development costs but making it harder to recognise them when all racing on the same track together…
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