Porsche has begun track testing its upcoming Le Mans Daytona hybrid (LMDh) prototype racer.
From the 2023 racing season, Porsche Penske Motorsport will enter its LMDh prototype in both the FIA World Endurance Championship and the North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Previously seen in a series of teaser images and digital renders, this is the first time that we’ve been able to fully see Porsche’s LMDh prototype racer. For now though it’s still covered in a black-and-white camouflage wrap.
The Porsche LMDh racer has a fundamental Le Mans Prototype-style silhouette with a large front splitter, swollen and sculpted wheel arches, as well as a large rear wing and diffuser.
Porsche has announced its LMDh prototype is powered by a “large capacity” twin-turbo V8 engine and a standardised hybrid system.
These standardised hybrid components include a 50kW Bosch hybrid system, a Williams Advanced Engineering battery pack and an Xtrac transmission. Total system power is capped at 500kW.
Though the hybrid system is standardised, participating automakers can select the engine it’s mated to, provided it meets the regulations.
Per class regulations, the internal-combustion engine must have maximum rev limit of 10,000rpm and a pass-by noise measurement of less than 110 decibels.
Regulation also states that hybrid prototypes must have a minimum weight of 1030kg and the internal-combustion engine must weigh a minimum of 180kg, including the air supply, exhaust system, turbochargers (if used) and peripheral cooling components.
“We were spoilt for choice with the engine for our LMDh prototype, because the product range offers several promising baseline units,” said Porsche Motorsport vice president Thomas Laudenbach.
“We decided on the V8-biturbo, which we feel offers the best combination of performance characteristics, weight and costs.”
Jointly conceived by IMSA, FIA and ACO, this hybrid hypercar class was created so the prototype racers can race in both the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the USA, and the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans using the same body construction.
Porsche’s racer will be built on a platform developed by Canadian engineering firm Multimatic.
These LMDh platforms are based on an upgraded LMP2 chassis, of which four are available from four different manufacturers: Dallara, Ligier, ORECA and Multimatic.