BMW reveals new LMDh contender for 2023 IMSA season

BMW has unveiled the Dallara LMP2-based LMDh prototype with which it will contest the 2023 IMSA SportsCar Championship season.

BMW M LMDh car
BMW M LMDh car
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Photo by: BMW AG

BMW M Hybrid V8
BMW M Hybrid V8
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Photo by: BMW AG

BMW M Hybrid V8
BMW M Hybrid V8
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Photo by: BMW AG

BMW M Hybrid V8
BMW M Hybrid V8
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Photo by: BMW AG

BMW M Hybrid V8
BMW M Hybrid V8
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Photo by: BMW AG

BMW M LMDh car
BMW M LMDh car
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Photo by: BMW

BMW M Hybrid V8
BMW M Hybrid V8
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Photo by: BMW AG

BMW M Hybrid V8
BMW M Hybrid V8
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Photo by: BMW AG

BMW M Hybrid V8
BMW M Hybrid V8
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Photo by: BMW AG

Christened as the BMW M Hybrid V8, the car was unveiled in the iconic blue-and-white livery of the brand’s M sub-division on Monday and features the ‘kidney grill’ that has been a standard part of BMW’s design for decades.

The final colour scheme will be showcased at a later date.

The naming of the car indicates that it will be powered by an eight-cylinder engine, mated to a spec hybrid unit. BMW didn’t reveal the exact details about the motor, but it is rumoured that it has been derived from the marque’s now-defunct factory programme in the DTM.

The BMW M Hybrid V8 will contest the new GTP class of IMSA, where it will go up against similar LMDh cars from Cadillac, Acura and Porsche, plus Lamborghini from 2024. 

Cars built to the World Endurance Championship's Le Mans Hypercar regulations such as the Toyota GR010 Hybrid, the Peugeot 9X8, the Glickenhaus 007 LMH, as well as the upcoming Ferrari LMH, will also be able to contend for outright honours in IMSA from 2023 as part of a regulatory unification between the two championships.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will be responsible for running BMW’s factory LMDh programme in IMSA, as announced by the marque last year. The team has enjoyed a strong working relationship with BMW since 2009 and currently runs a single BMW M4 GT3 in IMSA’s GTD Pro class as a works entry.

BMW M Hybrid V8

BMW M Hybrid V8

Photo by: BMW AG

BMW had previously outlined its intention to take the then-unnamed LMDh car to the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2024 for the 25th anniversary of its victory with the V12 LMR, but there was no confirmation of that in Monday’s announcement.

The Munich-based manufacturer indicated it will begin testing the M Hybrid V8 in America soon, but the marque stopped short of providing an exact schedule. 

“The most critical task and the greatest challenge for the design team in the LMDh programme design team was that the prototype must be clearly recognisable as a BMW M Motorsport car,” said  Franciscus van Meel, CEO of BMW M GmbH.

“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. 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.”

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