BMW presented the first look at its novelty in June M Hybrid V8 LMDh Race Carand on Thursday, the automaker revealed the car’s color scheme for the first season.
The livery was unveiled late Thursday at the car’s U.S. debut at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles. BMW also used the event to confirm its pilot line-up.
The livery is dominated by the stylized letter “M” of the BMW M division, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. There are also splashes of blue and purple, which BMW says refer to the vehicle’s electrical powertrain component. And unusually for a race car, the black areas are actually the car’s unpainted carbon fiber. This move, according to BMW, helped reduce the weight of the livery by about 25% compared to a traditional full wrap.
2023 BMW M Hybrid V8 LMDh Race Car
The M Hybrid V8 will begin racing in 2023, initially only in the IMSA SportsCar Championship and later in the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2024. It will compete in the new GTP class in the SportsCar Championship, which is open to both LMDh and LMH cars. The comparable class in the World Endurance Championship is Hypercar. Performance balance rules will be used to ensure a level playing field between the two types of racing cars.
The M Hybrid V8 uses a chassis from Italy’s Dallara, one of four firms that supply chassis for the category. The car will need to tip the scales at a minimum of 2,270 pounds, and its powertrain is a hybrid setup using modified twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 from the former DTM racing program, can generate a maximum power of around 670 hp at any time. The electric component consists of a single motor mated to a V-8 with a separator clutch that allows the car to run on only electric power that can be used in, say, pit lane.
BMW M will run its LMDh campaign with American-based Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing under the BMW Team RLL banner and with RLL Racing co-owner Bobby Rahal as team principal. It is now planned to field two cars in the SportsCar Championship.
2023 BMW M Hybrid V8 LMDh Race Car Engine
Confirmed drivers include Conor De Filippi and Nick Yelali in one car and Philip Eng and Augusta Farfuss in the other. Cars will compete under numbers 24 and 25.
The first race will be the 2023 Daytona 24 Hours next January. The race is the opening of the 2023 SportsCar Championship and the first for LMDh.
Acura, alpine, Cadillacand Porsche also devoted to LMDh, while PaKoles, Ferrari, Glickenhaus, Peugeotand Toyota all LMH devotees. Audi was also due to join the LMDh in 2023, but announced in August that it had canceled efforts to focus resources on planned participation in Formula 1 in 2026. Lamborghini is also aiming for LMDh, but will join the fight only in 2024.