“LMP1 is, at the moment, the big hybrid thing, and in there we wouldn’t be the leader,” he told AUTOSPORT. “We wouldn’t even be the fast follower, we would be a slow follower now, as the fifth [after Audi, Toyota, Porsche and Nissan] manufacturer joining in. “With our targets, I don’t see this really being something that we think about in a way that we are working on anything in that respect as a programme.”
Marquardt added that the company is always looking beyond existing racing programs, but he’s currently happy with the current programs. “What we always do at BMW is, on one side, look at what we are doing right now and really put that onto the screen – is it bringing what we want?” he explained. “Then you look beyond that scope and see what else is out there: you even look at Formula 1, you look at LMP, you look at Formula E, everything.”
LMP1 racing is the obvious choice for a future program, if BMW wanted to get back in the Le Mans game, as its new hybrid technologies would give the Bavarian automaker a serious advantage. BMW has such cutting-edge technologies as TurboSteaming and thermoelectric generators which can give it an edge. LMP1 racing is very much about pushing the technological envelope and BMW is one of the leaders in such a field, with its current i division. BMW is said to be developing a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine which could produce up to 600 hp, through its DTM commitments.
So it’s possible we may see BMW enter LMP1 in 2017 and combat the likes of Audi and Porsche, but it isn’t certain.
BMW’s last race at Le Mans yielded victory with the Williams-built V12 LMR in 1999, a program that was a precursor to its Formula 1 entry with the British team.