• Tim Fullbrook

BMW unveil 2023 LMDh car named the M Hybrid V8

Featuring an M-themed camo livery, the German LMDh is revealed to the world

BMW have lifted the covers on the M Hybrid V8 – the Dallara chassised LMDh that marks the German brand's return to top-flight endurance racing in the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The now-named M Hybrid V8 will be one of a number of cars making their debut in IMSA's GTP class which includes Acura, Porsche, and Cadillac – the latter revealing their LMDh car later this week.

Despite the LMP2 chassis base that all LMDh cars will feature, it is immediately recognisable as one developed by the Munich brand, the hallmark of the design for the BMW M Hybrid V8 is the wide kidney grille. In addition, it boasts typical BMW M design elements such as the nested 50th anniversary logo on the hood, twin BMW icon lights, dynamic body side, Hofmeister kink window graphic, M ‘hook’ mirrors and the tail-lights.

Revealed in a camouflage livery, the BMW M Hybrid V8 will complete its testing with this design before making its race debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January 2023.

“My team's job was to make the BMW M Hybrid V8 look like a BMW, and embrace every opportunity to make it also perform like one on the race track,” said BMW Group Designworks Global Automotive Director Michael Scully.

“The design is rooted in BMW’s DNA of purposeful, efficient performance, and the exterior’s bold, determined character invokes BMW's frontiersmanship of turbo power; now united with an optimized hybrid electric powertrain."

A two-car programme will be run in IMSA’s WeatherTech Sportscar Championship by Team RLL, a long-standing partner in North American competition.

As per its name, new prototype will be powered a 4-litre V8 twin-turbocharged engine that is based on the former DTM power unit used between 2012-18 where BMW claimed three drivers' and three teams' titles. The combustion engine will then be combined with the spec-hybrid unit that all LMDh cars will use.

There remains no official confirmation that BMW will take the LMDh to the WEC, but it is understood that Munich are investigating options for 2024 which may include a factory effort being operated by Team WRT.

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