BMW in June provided a first look at its new M Hybrid V8 LMDh race car, and on Thursday the automaker revealed the livery the car will sport for its inaugural season.
The livery was revealed late on Thursday at the car's U.S. debut at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles. BMW also used the event to confirm its driver lineup.
The livery is dominated by the stylized “M” of the BMW M division which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. There are also splashes of blue and purple, which BMW said signifies the electric component of the car's powertrain. Unusually for a race car, the black areas are actually the car's unpainted carbon fiber, a move BMW said helped reduce weight of the livery by around 25% compared to a traditional full wrap.
2023 BMW M Hybrid V8 LMDh race car
The M Hybrid V8 starts racing in 2023, initially in the IMSA SportsCar Championship only but then also in the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2024. It will compete in the new GTP class in the SportsCar Championship, which is open to both LMDh and LMH cars. The comparable class in the World Endurance Championship is Hypercar. Balance of Performance rules will be used to ensure an even playing field between the two race car types.
The M Hybrid V8 uses a chassis sourced from Italy's Dallara, one of four firms supplying chassis for the category. The car will need to tip the scales at a minimum 2,270 lb, and its powertrain, a hybrid setup using a modified twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 from a former DTM racing program, can generate at any time a maximum output of around 670 hp. The electric component consists of a single motor mated with the V-8, with a separator clutch enabling the car to drive on electric power alone, which could be used in the pit lane, for example.
BMW M will run its LMDh campaign with America's Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, under the BMW Team RLL banner and with RLL Racing co-owner Bobby Rahal as team principal. The current plan is to field two cars in the SportsCar Championship.
2023 BMW M Hybrid V8 LMDh race car's engine
Confirmed drivers include Connor De Phillippi and Nick Yelloly in one car and Philipp Eng and Augusto Farfus in the other. The cars will race under the numbers 24 and 25.
The first race will be the 2023 24 Hours of Daytona next January. The race is the opening round of the 2023 SportsCar Championship, and the first for LMDh.
Acura, Cadillac, Porsche and Alpine have committed to LMDh, while ByKolles, Glickenhaus, Ferrari, Peugeot, and Toyota all have committed to LMH. Audi had agreed to join LMDh in 2023 but announced in August it had canceled those plans to focus on a planned F1 entry in 2026. Lamborghini will join the LMDh fray in 2024.