BMW board to decide this month on LMP1 car with hydrogen fuel cells

Racing, Rumors | January 25th, 2016 by 7
5. 1999 Jenny Holzer V12 LMR 750x500

BMW is further contemplating an entry into the Le Mans racing championship with an LMP1 car. According to sources, BMW has been working in recent …

BMW is further contemplating an entry into the Le Mans racing championship with an LMP1 car. According to sources, BMW has been working in recent months very intensively for a possible comeback at Le Mans. In Munich, BMW engineers drew up studies of LMP1 vehicles including a hybrid drive, but the last step – the promulgation of an appropriate race program – failed to materialize so far. A report today by German media says the BMW Board will reconvene in January to discuss the LMP1 project and decide on its future.

The development requires a 24 months lead time which will prepare BMW for an entry in 2018. Sources say – while the hydrogen fuel cell technology is available and interesting – the biggest obstacle is the cost associated with the racing program.

BMW V12 LMR 750x499

BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt allegedly priced the cost of the LMP1 program at over 500 million euros. And moreover, it is not clear at the moment if and how this new hydrogen fuel cells technology could be integrated into the current prototype regulations.

In view of the enormous cost – Audi and Porsche spend high hundreds of millions annually – BMW might decide to distance themselves from the plans.

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’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.

7 responses to “BMW board to decide this month on LMP1 car with hydrogen fuel cells”

  1. Icebreakerr says:

    if they do = M supercar

  2. Matt Stokes says:

    I really can’t see this happening, not with Hydrogen anyway. In fact I hope it doesn’t… To spend €500,000,000 on developing new technology in order to inevitably have a very high profile failure is utterly bonkers.

    Also BMW’s last race at the 24 Heures du Mans yielded a P3 in the LM GTE PRO class in 2011.

  3. Kaisuke971 says:

    I don’t really know how i feel about this… That’s a lot of money, and it’ll be hard to beat Audi, Porsche and Toyota. If they fail they’ll look like Nissan.

  4. Mark says:

    PLEASE OH PLEASE!

  5. Stephen Garrett says:

    As cool as it would be, this is an opportunity better left to fantasy. Take that money and invest it in your cars..

  6. […] After months of speculations, BMW has allegedly ruled out a LMP1 program for the new-for-2018 LMP1 regulations. German media reported that WEC LMP1 and GTE-Pro programs had been under consideration, but according to BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt, the short-term focus remains in GT racing. […]

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