Watch - Alpine A450 LMP2 racer driven on track

Richard Meaden samples prototype downforce in Alpine’s latest Le Mans challenger

For our latest video review, Richard Meaden drives one of Le Mans' fastest LMP2 racers, the Alpine A450 prototype. Standing just one metre high and boasting aero-focused bodywork with a massive rear wing, it’s little wonder that Meaden – who’s an experienced racer himself - is feeling a little apprehensive ahead of his drive.

The spec sheet won’t help to calm his nerves either. The A450’s Nismo built naturally aspirated 4.5-litre V8 produces around 500bhp, which combined with its 900kg weight, equates to a power to weight ratio of close to 600bhp/ton. 

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Power is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed XTrac sequential gearbox with the help of traction control (to the relief of Meaden), and revs are limited to 7750rpm. When the car is setup for Le Mans, top speed down the Mulsanne straight often touches 200mph.

Of course, Meaden wouldn’t want to waste a handful of laps in a Le Mans car without getting some advanced preparation in first, so a stint in Base Performance’s Banbury race simulator helps boost his confidence.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

But sampling the prototype racer on track proves that mastering the black art of downforce takes far more than just an afternoon’s worth of driving. Nevertheless, Meaden – who’s taken part in many top tier races including the Nurbugring 24 Hours – takes full advantage of his drive and begins to explore the grip-inducing effects of downforce.

Watch the video above to enjoy the sights, sounds and unbelievable pace of the Alpine A450 LMP2 car under the helm of Richard Meaden.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/best-cars/15095/best-cars-to-buy-for-ps10000-evo-garage
Best cars

Best cars to buy for £10,000 – evo garage

The evo team picks their favourite used performance cars
1 Jul 2020
Visit/dodge/challenger/202845/2021-dodge-challenger-srt-super-stock-revealed
Dodge Challenger

2021 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock revealed

The ancient Dodge Challenger lives on in new 807bhp widebody form – makes a Shelby GT500 look like a pedal car
3 Jul 2020
Visit/mercedes/cla/202850/mercedes-amg-cla-45-s-shooting-brake-review
Mercedes CLA45 AMG hatchback

Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S Shooting Brake review

Good looks and stonking performance, if you can stomach the price tag
4 Jul 2020
Visit/skoda/202145/full-2020-skoda-octavia-vrs-engine-range-detailed
Skoda Octavia vRS

Full 2020 Skoda Octavia vRS engine range detailed

Skoda’s engine range for the Octavia vRS topped by a 242bhp turbo petrol
3 Jul 2020