BMW has revealed the car it’ll use to tackle the International Motor Sports Association WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The M Hybrid V8 will go head-to-head with new endurance prototypes from Porsche, Acura, and Cadillac.
It’ll be eligible for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, thanks to regulations bringing the IMSA series more closely into line with the World Endurance Championship (WEC).
The M Hybrid V8 is powered by a V8 engine (duh), but its outputs haven’t yet been confirmed.
Paired with a hybrid system the powertrain is allowed to output a total of 500kW, although that may change based on how regulators want to balance performance between competitors.
Per class regulations, hybrid prototypes have a minimum weight of 1030kg, use a 50kW Bosch hybrid system and Williams Advanced Engineering battery pack, and an Xtrac transmission. Under the skin, the M Hybrid is built in partnership with motorsports specialist Dallara.
Under IMSA GTP rules, the M Hybrid will be rear-wheel drive. The cars it’d compete with at Le Mans, were BMW to confirm an entry, have been built using a different interpretation of the same rules.
This hybrid hypercar racing class was jointly conceived by IMSA, FIA and ACO so the hybrid hypercar prototypes can enter the North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, as well as the FIA World Endurance Championship.
This means that the racers can not only enter and race in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the USA, but can also race in the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans.
At this stage, BMW M Motorsport has only confirmed its LMDh racer will only be competing in the North American-based IMSA racing championship.
The livery on show here will be replaced by the time it debuts, but the aerodynamics package you see here and the basic design – kidney grilles included – will carry on.
Don’t be surprised if BMW M Motorsport jumps on the FIA World Endurance Championship bandwagon and enters its LMDh racer in Le Mans, because it has some history at the circuit.
In 1999, BMW last entered and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans with its V12 LMR racer.