Engine Developments is pleased to announce that it will be offering a development of its highly successful 5,5 litre V10 engine to prospective LMP1 privateer entries from 2016 onwards in association with its long term LMP1 partner AIM Co. Ltd of Japan. We are honoured that AIM has chosen to continue our long standing partnership in LMP1 and this new development starts a new chapter in that relationship.
We have carefully studied the technical regulations, in particular the ongoing evolution of the maximum allowed fuel flow for non-ERS cars. Having discussed the various options available to us such as a V6 turbo, naturally aspirated V8 or V10 with the various potential chassis manufacturers for LMP1, we have concluded that the AIM 90 degree V10 will offer the best possible combination of performance, reliability and cost effectiveness to privateer entrants.
Our LMP1 V10 engines have gained an excellent reputation in endurance racing since we introduced our first 4,0 litre engine in 1999, with wins at the Daytona 24hrs, 2010 and 2011 LMS Championships and numerous “top privateer” classifications at the Le Mans 24hrs including a 2nd place overall in 2005. The AIM V10, an advanced engine conceived and developed under AIM’s direction achieved a 4th overall position, the highest placed petrol powered car, in 2010. With that reputation and history behind us we are confident that the AIM 5,5 litre V10 we are developing for the current regulations will prove to be highly successful.
The technical regulations for the current LMP1 engines are of course quite different to those that existed before 2014 with the focus now being on fuel efficiency, but the AIM V10 engine has always been an extremely fuel-efficient engine and with the development work we have carried out already we know the engine will be very competitive in this respect. The engine has already exceeded the target BSFC figures forming the basis of the current LMP1 regulations and at the same time is developing well over 480kW, with further development planned.
In addition to this the simplicity of the naturally aspirated engine installation makes the maximisation of the performance, operation and maintenance of the engine and its associated systems a much more manageable and achievable task for non-manufacturer competitors than for complex turbocharged engines, particularly in the high ambient temperatures experienced in some of the WEC race events.
It is also clear that costs within LMP1 in general are a very important issue and this is one of the main reasons that there are only a small number of teams that have decided to enter the new LMP1 arena. The AIM V10 engine will be extremely cost effective since it is a development of the existing V10 platform that we have already raced for a number of years and shares many well-proven components with its predecessors. We hope this will contribute to attracting more teams to the class and to help grow the level of participation for privateer teams.