BMW releases images of LMDh car that will debut in 2023 IMSA

BMW releases images of LMDh car that will debut in 2023 IMSA

The design and official name of BMW M Motorsport’s LMDh car, which will participate in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship’s new GTP class next year, has been officially revealed.

The BMW M Hybrid V8 was launched on Monday in the famous blue-and-white livery of the brand’s M division, and incorporates the ‘kidney grill’ that has been a standard component of BMW’s design for decades.

The front end of the BMW M Hybrid V8 has a large grill to signify a common design motif found on the German manufacturer’s road cars. Also a nested 50th-anniversary logo on the hood, twin symbol lights, M-brand ‘hook’ mirrors, and a Hofmeister kink window pattern are all traditional ‘M’ identifiers.

The automobile was originally referred to as the ‘BMW M LMDh,’ but that name has now been changed to one that incorporates key powertrain characteristics.

The car’s new name implies that it will be propelled by an eight-cylinder engine coupled to a hybrid system. The engine’s exact specifications have not been revealed, however it is thought to be drawn from BMW’s now-defunct factory programme in the DTM. All LMDh manufacturers will use this in conjunction with the standard hybrid system.

“The most critical task and the greatest challenge for the design team was that the prototype must be clearly recognizable as a BMW M Motorsport car, and I can say this to all the fans, just one look is enough to confirm that the BMW M Hybrid V8 is a BMW,” BMW M CEO Franciscus van Meel said. “It clearly carries the genes of BMW M.”

“I also love the camouflage livery with its references to the great history of the brand in North America.

“Congratulations to the design and aerodynamics departments at BMW M Motorsport and Dallara on their great work. I can hardly wait to see the BMW M Hybrid V8 on the track soon.”

Images of significant BMW racing vehicles such as the 1976 BMW 3.0 CSL, the 1981 M1/C, the 1987 BMW 32i Turbo, the 1986 BMW GTP, the M3 E36 GTS-2, the Z4 GTLM, and the M8 GTE are included in the camouflage.

“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,” commented BMW Group 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.”

From 2024, the BMW M Hybrid V8 will compete in IMSA’s new GTP class, where it will compete against similar LMDh cars from Cadillac, Acura, and Porsche, as well as Lamborghini.

As part of a regulatory unification between the two championships, cars built to the FIA World Endurance Championship’s Le Mans Hypercar regulations, such as the Toyota GR010 Hybrid, Peugeot 9X8, and Glickenhaus 007 LMH, as well as the upcoming Ferrari LMH, will be able to compete for outright honours in IMSA starting in 2023.

BMW’s OEM LMDh programme in IMSA will be run by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, as the brand confirmed last year.

RLL has had a solid working connection with BMW since 2009, and now operates a single BMW M4 GT3 as a works entry in IMSA’s GTD Pro class.

BMW had previously stated that the then-unnamed LMDh car would compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2024 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of their triumph with the V12 LMR, but there was no confirmation of that in Monday’s announcement.

The Munich-based company stated that it will begin testing the M Hybrid V8 in America soon, but it did not provide a specific date.

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