Aston Martin has today announced a new Le Mans contender in the form of this ground-up replacement for its previous LMP1 car.

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Called the AMR-One, the new car is different in that it has rescinded the glorious V12, replacing it with a new inline six-cylinder, direct injection, turbocharged petrol 2.0-litre motor.

Part of the reason for downsizing is to comply with the 2011 Le Mans season's stricter emissions regulations, but mainly to be a test case for Aston Martin's cars in the years to come.

Only a few days ago, CarAdvice told you about Aston Martin's plans to fit six-cylinder engines to its sports cars, and now is the effective confirmation of that news. Aston Martin's LMP1 cars have always been a test bed for its passengers cars, using basically the same engines, with data gained from racing transferred to its road cars.

Now, its six-cylinder engines will be tested to their limits and with 540hp on the cards, it will be interesting to see how the new configuration goes. Obviously, it's a rear-wheel-drive car, and has a six-speed transverse semi automatic pneumatic shift, Xtrac racing gearbox.

The car is also an open-cockpit racer, meaning drivers will feel every molecule of air rushing past them at speed.

Six of the cars will be built, featuring carbon-fibre monocoque bodies, strengthened further by a steel frame underneath.

Aston Martin Chief Executive, Dr. Ulrich Bez said: “Aston Martin’s heritage is deeply rooted in endurance sports car racing, so in 2011, we take the next step demonstrating that a small team using advanced design and engineering intelligence will be agile and competitive.”

Aston Martin Racing Chairman, David Richards said, “Just like the road cars, the AMR-One has been elegantly engineered where simplicity runs throughout to produce what we expect to be a competitive and reliable endurance racer.”