BMW M announced on Monday that it is building a sports prototype for the new LMDh (Le Mans Daytona Hybrid) division of race cars that qualify for the top tier of both the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA Sportscar Championship starting in 2023.
Known as the BMW M Hybrid V8, the car has a design that is definitely thanks to BMW, a Kidney Grill and Huffmister Kink (in this case only a graphic). The car also has a “50 Jahre BMW M” script on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the BMW M this year. Apparently the German word is “year”.
BMW M has so far only committed to the Sportscar Championship, in the Premier Premier GTP (Grand Turing Prototype) class of the series, but not specifically for 24 hours in WEC’s Hypercar class, denied entry to the main event. In the WEC calendar. This means that we are likely to see the BMW M compete head-to-head at Le Mans for the first time since 1999, when its V12 LMR sports prototype automaker’s first and only overall victory ensured the French Classic.
The GTP and Hypercar classes will be open to both LMDh race cars and Le Mans Hypercar rules, as balance of performance measurements will be used to ensure an equal playing field.
2023 BMW M Hybrid V8 LMDh Race Car
According to LMDH rules, BMW M uses a chassis derived from Dallara, Italy, which is one of four companies providing chassis for the category. The car has to tip at a minimum of 1,030 kilograms (2,270 pounds) and its powertrain, an unpublished V-8 hybrid setup, can produce a maximum output of around 670 hp at any one time.
BMW M will be promoting its LMDh with American Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, under the banner BMW Team RLL. The current plan is to field two cars at the 2023 Sportscar Championships. Bobby Rahel, co-owner of RLL Racing, will lead the team. He will work closely with Maurizio Leschiutta, BMW M’s project leader for the LMDh program.
Alpine, Audi, Cadillac and Porsche are all committed to LMDh, while Ferrari, Glickenhaus, Peugeot and Toyota are all committed to LMH. Lamborghini also announced in May that it would join the LMDh fold in 2024.
The first race for the LMDh will be the Datona 2023 24 hours next January. The race is the opening round of the 2023 Sportscar Championship.