BMW releases first images of LMDh Hypercar

Sports Car News

BMW has unveiled its Hybrid V8 LMDh car, set to enter IMSA next year, and possibly Le Mans in the future

BMW LMDh car

BMW has taken the wraps off its M Hybrid V8


BMW has released the first images of the design for its new LMDh prototype, slated to enter IMSA in 2023.

The endurance challenger, which makes use of the Munich brand’s iconic ‘kidney’ grill design, has been displayed in a camouflage livery comprised of famous BMW sports cars, marking 50 years of the M brand.

The German marque is set to go up against Porsche and Acura in IMSA, and a rules tweak which now permits Hypercars could see it take on Ferrari, Toyota and Peugeot in the American championship too.

BMW will use a 4-litre V8 Hybrid (along with the standard electric motor as defined by LMDh rules) derived from its old P66 DTM engine coupled with a Dallara chassis – manufacturers that have chosen this route are required to use a chassis made by either the Italian design firm, Ligier, Multimatic or Oreca.

LMDh makers are permitted to use their own body designs on its predefined chassis of choice, hence BMW opting for a nod to its aesthetic heritage.

The German firm, which took overall victory at Le Mans in 1997, will be run by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in the American endurance IMSA championship next year. It had previously emphasised that it wanted to enter Le Mans with the car at some point, but has not since confirmed that intention.

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“My team’s job was to make the BMW M Hybrid V8 look like a BMW, and embrace every opportunity to make it also perform like one on the race track,” said BMW Designworks Global Automotive Director Michael Scully.

“The design is rooted in BMW’s DNA of purposeful, efficient performance, and the exterior’s bold, determined character invokes BMW’s frontiersmanship of turbo power, now united with an optimized hybrid electric powertrain.

“The camouflage livery celebrates the 50 Years of M by commemorating the great cars of BMW’s storied history in IMSA racing while uniquely cloaking the BMW M Hybrid V8’s future-facing exterior geometry and technologies during the critical on-track development phase of the project.

“If you look closely you’ll discover multiple winners of the Daytona 24 Hours, as well as the very first purpose-built IMSA GTP car from 1981, the BMW M1/C.

“We’ll follow up this camouflage with a works livery that exemplifies the dynamism and excitement of hybrid electric-powered competition.”