Back in June, BMW gave us our first look at its first top-tier racing car in decades, which is M Hybrid V8. Now, we know what the car will look like when it debuts at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January.
The car will race in both the IMSA GTP and supercar class for the FIA World Endurance Championship, but is based on the LMDH set of rules rooted in IMSA. This means that it is built around the core of the LMP2 chassis provided by Dallara, but the vehicle is completely unrecognizable from LMDH from Cadillac Built around the same basin.
Notably, the M Hybrid V8 engine perfectly complements the BMW face. Giant kidney grilles give it a much more square, geometric nose than any other racing prototype today. The spoiler, diffuser, rear spoiler and tail light body are made of one piece, extending from the fenders with a swoop and ending with lights built from angular lines. In between, the more traditional shape is highlighted by the lower profiles, angular fenders, and a stabilizing fin that extends over the car’s aerodynamic breathing tube. Even the Hofmeister window is visible along the window, here taking the form of a particularly aggressive angle that is integrated directly into either side of the unique asymmetric livery.
The paintwork may look like a straightforward modern interpretation of BMW’s traditional racing colors from a distance, but a side view of the car’s left-hand side reveals that all those red, white and blue colored trim are actually the distinctive M badge hidden along multiple surfaces. Along the right, similar cuts create a different M that aligns with the car’s Hofmeister knot. Like premium test camouflage, this scheme was designed by BMW Group Designworks. Unlike this outfit, this one will grace the car when you race at Daytona in January.
The M Hybrid V8 is powered by a flat, twin-turbo V-8 based on an engine previously used at DTM in the mid-2010s. With the help of a standard hybrid system, the vehicle is capable of producing a maximum combined power of 697 horsepower. In practice, the complex performance-balance math aimed at keeping the series competitive means most cars in the class will produce less power than that number.
Although the car won’t race in Europe until the FIA World Endurance Championship program begins with WRT in 2024, it will race the full IMSA GTP season with Rahal Letterman Lanigan in 2023. The team will run two cars full-time, set to It is led by Connor De Philippe, Philip Ing, Augusto Farfus, and Nick Yallowe. De Phillippi, an American, has been a full-time IMSA driver in the company’s GT cars for years. Farfus, Eng and Yelloly have joined Rahal Letterman Lanigan after spending 2022 as endurance-only drivers with the team’s GT programmes.
He will join the four other drivers in various endurance races throughout the year, but BMW has only revealed one of those names so far. That distinction goes to Colton Herta, an LMP2 class winner at Daytona and a previous class winner with the BMW M8 GTE. Herta is best known as an IndyCar star, with seven race victories in four years, and as a prospect in Formula 1, where he was She is briefly expected to join AlphaTauri for the 2023 season before licensing issues get in the way. Herta has been confirmed to join the program for her first race in Daytona.
In 2024, BMW M Hybrid V8s will be sent to race in Europe with the LMP2 standard setters at WRT. That means the car won’t race at Le Mans this year, but its debut at the world’s largest sports car race is fast approaching. Until then, the show has Daytona, Sebring, Petit Le Mans and an IMSA stalking championship.