Aston Martin has become the latest company to unveil a car for the 2011 season, showing off a design that appears to mark a clear move away from the Lola chassis the current crop of Aston Martin Racing LMP1 cars are based on.

The open cockpit design has been designed from scratch at Aston Martin's Banbury headquarters alongside a purpose-designed and petrol powered race engine that aims to take full advantage of the change in rules for next year's Le Mans 24 Hours. It does offer some continuity, appearing the Gulf colours.

“Having won the GT category twice at Le Mans in 2007 and 2008 and the Le Mans Series outright in 2009, we still want to achieve our ultimate goal of winning the 24 Hour race overall to bring the title back to Britain,” says Aston Martin chairman David Richards.

“In recent years, it has been impossible for petrol cars to compete on equal terms with the diesels. However, we now have assurances from the ACO that, with the adoption of the 2011 regulations, they will properly balance the performance of these new cars. Under these circumstances we have been prepared to develop Aston Martin's first purpose-built racing chassis and engine for more than 50 years.”

“Even with this new car, it will still be a 'David and Goliath' fight against the massive resources of our competitors, but we have become accustomed to this and relish the challenge.”

Aston Martin say only a limited number of six cars will be built, the first of which should run early next year.