Lamborghini is evaluating an entry in the new Le Mans hypercar category for 2021. If given the go-ahead, it could put Lamborghini head to head with rivals such as Aston Martin and Toyota for outright victory in the famous 24-hour race.
Talking at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed, Lamborghini boss Stefano Domenicali – the former team principal of the Ferrari Formula 1 team – confirmed that a study into a potential project is under way and will be completed before the end of the year.
“There are discussions and we are looking to understand the regulations to see if it is of interest,” said Domenicali. “There is nothing to say until the evaluation is finished, and at that point the answer could be yes or no. For now, it is possible.”
New regulations allow manufacturers to compete using more production-related machinery from 2020, with Aston set to race a version of its Valkyrie hypercar and Toyota developing the Gazoo GR Super Sport Concept for the event.
Domenicali hinted that the Lamborghini SC18 – a one-off project car built on behalf of a customer by Lamborghini’s racing division, Squadra Corse – showed the firm’s capabilities for launching a Le Mans racer if it chose to do so.
“We don’t have the budget to invest in a totally new project, but the SC18 shows that we have a base for what could be an interesting approach,” he said. “The car shows that we have internal capabilities for such a project.”
The SC18 is an Aventador-based and road-legal car but was created primarily for use on the track, where its extreme aerodynamics can be used to full effect. It draws on the same powertrain used by the Aventador SVJ, with the V12 engine delivering 759bhp at 8500rpm and 531lb ft of torque at 6750rpm.
Lamborghini has previously hinted that more bespoke projects could be made as it meets the demand for unique creations from wealthy buyers, raising the possibility that a factory Le Mans programme could also be part-financed by customers.
Q&A Stefano Domenicali, CEO, Lamborghini