The A424 will be the name of the Alpine that next year will race in the WEC, in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and, in all likelihood, also in the IMSA championship. It was presented today on the eve of the most famous endurance race in the world, but still in concept form, distinguished by the letter β that we have seen on other occasions associated with other Alpines still in development.
A424 complies with LMDh technical regulations (Le Mans Daytona hybrid) and is called so because it recalls the name of the Renault Alpine A442B which, driven by Jean-Pierre Jaussaud and Didier Pironi, won at Le Mans in 1978 and because 24 recalls the famous race and the year of which we will see the car ready for track. In principle, it will be 5 meters long, not more than 2 meters wide and not more than 1,060 meters high.
Also in principle, it will have a hybrid propulsion system made up of a common part and fuel built by the manufacturer which, in this particular case, will be a supercharged 3.4-liter V6 with a single turbocharger and cylinder banks at 90 degrees. It will be developed together with Mecachrome, a historically used partner and Renault also for Formula 1 engines from 1998 to 2000. As is known, the common part will include a Bosch electric motor, a Williams battery and a 7-speed Xtrac gearbox. .
Final execution and of the test will be pneumatic. The total power will be 500 kW, according to the changes set by the Balance of Performance (BoP), and a maximum speed of 9,000 rpm, therefore 1,000 below the control limit. As already known, the chassis will be provided by Oreca, Alpine’s historic partner and Signatech which is the team with which the French sports brand has returned to compete in the WEC since 2013 and which this time has been involved from the early stages of development. which takes place on the site of Viry-Châtillon.
The choice therefore seemed close it is reduced compared to Dallara, Multimatica and Ligier which are other manufacturers to choose from. The A424 will share a chassis base with the Acura ARX-06 which only runs in IMSA, for now. However, the style is clearly different and is recognized by things like the chromatic combination and the rear lights that recall the A of the brand, and this is one of the most difficult characteristics of LMDhs: combining the function of a racing car. and the typical stylistic characteristics of the brand to make them clearly recognizable even in a car that has, in any case, the goal of going as fast as possible.
In this case, French technicians, as soon as the announcement of the program was made in October 2021, they started from the chassis and did a hard work that takes into account the Alpines of the past and the present and those of the future. The designers have already shown some of their work to the public in the past, especially on the Alpenglow concept that the A424 is clearly inspired by. The first aerodynamic tests were carried out in July 2022, in December the new engine began working on the dyno and in May the integration of the V6 with the transmission and electrics was started.
They are involved in the program indeed the resources involved in the Formula 1 special seats, especially the hybrid system and energy management. The project also involves other technicians who have already shown their value in endurance racing and other motoring disciplines such as Christophe Chapelain, François Champod and Bruno Famin who, in addition to being responsible for the single-seat engine of Ocon and Gasly, signed his signature. on the Peugeot 908 HDi that won Le Mans in 2009.
The program has deadlines very accurate. On 28 June the A424 will be launched, at the end of July there will be the first shake on the track in Lurcy-Lévis, in mid-August it will be tested at Paul Ricard, in September it will go to Aragon. circuit and finally in October and in Jerez. By mid-November there will be talks in the wind tunnel and immediately afterwards it will return to Aragon for the first 24-hour test. It will be run in Portimao in December and the FIA talks will be completed within the year, which will technically lock the car.
Alpine also prepares another example, not so much to complete the two cars he will put in the WEC, but to send one to North America with a view to homologation also in IMSA. Indeed, one of the goals of the LMDh project is also to make it a communication tool for the Alpine brand considering its launch in the Atlantic Ocean. The line-up of pilots expected to fly the A424 in less than a year has yet to be revealed.