Following an announcement made in June about returning to Le Mans for the 2023 racing season, BMW M Motorsport is now providing the first look at its all-new LMDh contender. It will have some stiff competition seeing as how Porsche, Audi, Acura, Cadillac, Ferrari, Toyota, and Peugeot are all going to compete, with Alpine to follow in 2024.
It will serve as the spiritual successor to the V12 LMR, which obtained the last victory for a BMW prototype in 1999 by triumphing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 12 Hours of Sebring. The aggressive design previewed in the teaser shows the M colors on the prominent front splitter part of an aero package with massive canards and a roof scoop. Separate kidney grilles flank the BMW logo, while the minimalist headlights consist of only two vertical strips of LEDs.
BMW’s motorsport division is only previewing the race car’s front end for the time being, but look closer and you can observe a massive rear wing almost as wide as the vehicle. The adjacent sketch is a joint effort between BMW M Motorsport and BMW Group Designworks to illustrate the race car’s “visceral efficiency.”
Two prototypes will be fielded by BMW Team RLL, with the backbone of the race cars being a chassis developed by partner Dallara. As the name of the new competition suggests, the Le Mans Daytona hybrid prototypes will feature an electrified powertrain by combining a gasoline engine with an electric motor. The combustion engine will deliver a minimum of 470 kilowatts (630 horsepower) while the Bosch-supplied hybrid setup will be capped at 50 kilowatts (67 hp). Combined, the total hybrid system will not deliver more than 500 kW (670 hp).
The battery pack will be provided by Williams Advanced Engineering while the transmission is going to be built by Xtrac for prototypes that will have to weigh at least 1,030 kilograms (2,271 pounds). The LMDh race cars will be imposingly long, stretching at up to 5,100 millimeters (201 inches) long and a maximum width of 2,000 millimeters (78.7 inches), with a fixed wheelbase of 3,150 millimeters (124 inches).
Per the regulations for LMDh prototypes, there will be a cost cap of €1,000,000 excluding the engine. BMW will build the first test car in Italy in cooperation with engineers from Dallara, with the goal being to hit the track in 2022 at the Varano track in Parma.
[Source: BMW M Motorsport]