Here's BMW M Hybrid V8 Race Car in Its Official Livery
Image rights: BMW
BMW has unveiled its M Hybrid V8 prototype race car, which will make its racing debut in the IMSA GTP class at the 2023 24 Hours of Daytona.
In 2024, the BMW M Hybrid V8 will compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship, including a return to the premier class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans after a 25-year absence.
The body of the BMW M Hybrid V8 sits on a chassis made by the Italian racing car supplier Dallara. As the model name suggests, it's powered by a 4.0-liter V8 with up to 640 hp and is paired with an IMSA-spec electric motor for a hybrid setup.
Shortly after Acura's recent debut ARX-06, BMW is the latest manufacturer to unveil the official livery of its LMDh prototype. Adorned with more BMW design cues than a fake tracksuit, the colorful BMW M Hybrid V8 will enter the inaugural IMSA GTP class at the Daytona 24 Hours, where Acura has long dominated.
Image rights: BMW
With the GTP class, IMSA is encouraging manufacturers to incorporate styling cues into its road cars, and BMW has answered that call (and more) with the design of the M Hybrid V8. On the front, the M logo falls into an angled concave channel that slopes down from the bow. Two gaping snouts are laser lit and tilted backwards on the outer edges, evoking a hint of snarling when viewed at an angle. The windshield wraps into the side windows and ends in a Hofmeister crease. Out back, the massive diffuser transitions into the taillights, which resemble a set of interlocking hockey sticks.
The mesmerizing asymmetrical paint finish takes BMW-ness to the next level. On the right side, the M colors flutter over the body like a swarm of butterflies. When viewed directly, the fractal shading accentuates the angular lines of the body. It's only when you take a few steps to either axis that you notice the "M" flowing down the back end of the cockpit. The left side is far less subtle, with the unmistakable M running the entire rear quarter and over the edge of the rear wing.
Blessed with a range of race-ready powerplants, BMW engineers opted to design an existing engine to meet LMDh specifications rather than build one from scratch. After evaluating the P48 four-cylinder from the 2020 M4 DTM (too small) and the P63 turbocharged V-8 from the M8 GTE (too big), they found the naturally aspirated P66 V8 from the 2018 M4 DTM to be spot on. This 4.0-liter V8 is now twin-turbocharged, revs at 8200 rpm and delivers up to 640 hp. It's paired with an IMSA-specified hybrid system, while a disconnect clutch between the two motors allows for all-electric driving at pit speeds.
The BMW M Hybrid V8 will experience plenty of pit time from 2023 and make its competitive debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona. With returning heroes Acura and Cadillac backed by Ferrari and Porsche, it's sure to be a hotly contested race. In 2024, the BMW M Hybrid V8 will compete in the hypercar category of the FIA World Endurance Championship. For the first time since 1999, BMW will again be a top-class starter at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
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