After a long wait, the V12 LMR is finally getting a spiritual successor as BMW is returning to top-class motorsport with the M Hybrid V8. The Le Mans Daytona hybrid prototype was revealed earlier this year and now it’s making an appearance in Munich, Germany at BMW Welt. Visitors can discover the electrified endurance racer featuring the widest application of the kidney grille we have ever seen.
Dressed to impress in the 50 Years of M anniversary livery, the LMDh machine was actually seen in public for the first time at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. However, it was mounted up high as part of the sculpture designed to mark half a century of the M division. It was joined by other race cars, including the aforementioned V12 LMR, an M1 Procar, a 3.0 CSL, and a WTCC-spec 3 Series.
While some rivals have decided to go with a V6, BMW will use a larger V8 that traces its origins in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters. The P66/3 with a 4.0-liter displacement started off as an engine developed for the M4 used in the 2017 and 2018 DTM seasons before switching from a naturally aspirated setup to a twin-turbo configuration.
Set to go racing next year in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the BMW M Hybrid V8 will also compete from 2024 in the FIA World Endurance Championship, meaning it’ll take part in the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. Back in 1999, the V12 LMR was the first to cross the finish line in the LMP class, with a V12 LM taking fifth place that year. Winning in 2024 would be the perfect way to celebrate 25 years since the V12 LMR’s triumph.
The M Hybrid V8 is already being tested on the track and will have its race debut in January 2023 in Daytona. Chances are some of the know-how gained during development will trickle down to future M road cars, which will all have a hybrid powertrain after the M2 and 3.0 CSL arrive later this year. Inevitably, a purely electric M car will arrive and BMW M has already commenced testing with a quad-motor i4 Coupe.
Source: BMW Welt / Instagram