BMW M Motorsport has revealed the design and official name of its LMDh car that will compete in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship’s new GTP class next year.
The BMW M Hybrid V8 features a ‘wide kidney’ on the front end to represent a common design element that is found on road cars produced by the German manufacturer.
BMW has also included classic ‘M’ identifiers such as a nested 50th-anniversary logo on the hood, twin icon lights, M-brand ‘hook’ mirrors and a Hofmeister kink window motif.
The initial announcement of the program described the car as the ‘BMW M LMDh’ however this has been updated to a name that integrates core details of the powertrain.
As reported by Sportscar365 last week, BMW is powering its new sports prototype with a 4-liter V8 turbocharged engine derived from the old P66 unit that raced in the DTM.
This will be coupled to the spec hybrid system used by all LMDh manufacturers.
“The most critical task and the greatest challenge for the design team was that the prototype must be clearly recognizable as a BMW M Motorsport car,” said BMW M CEO Franciscus van Meel.
“And I can say this to all the fans, just one look is enough to confirm that the BMW M Hybrid V8 is a BMW. It clearly carries the genes of BMW M.
“I also love the camouflage livery with its references to the great history of the brand in North America.
“Congratulations to the design and aerodynamics departments at BMW M Motorsport and Dallara on their great work.
“I can hardly wait to see the BMW M Hybrid V8 on the track soon.”
The BMW M Hybrid V8 has been revealed in a camouflage testing livery that will be updated with an official factory racing design for its GTP program with Team RLL.
Embedded in the camouflage are images of notable BMW racing models such as the 1976 BMW 3.0 CSL, the 1981 M1/C, the 1987 BMW 32i Turbo, the 1986 BMW GTP, the M3 E36 GTS-2, the Z4 GTLM and the M8 GTE.
Porsche included outlines of race tracks from around the world in the test livery for its LMDh car, which is due to enter both IMSA and the FIA World Endurance Championship.
“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,” commented 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.
“The camouflage livery celebrates the 50 Years of M by commemorating the great cars of BMW’s storied history in IMSA racing while uniquely cloaking the BMW M Hybrid V8’s future-facing exterior geometry and technologies during the critical on-track development phase of the project.
“If you look closely you’ll discover multiple winners of the Daytona 24 Hours, as well as the very first purpose-built IMSA GTP car from 1981, the BMW M1/C.
“We’ll follow up this camouflage with a works livery that exemplifies the dynamism and excitement of hybrid electric-powered competition.”
BMW is known to be evaluating an entry for its LMDh car in the WEC’s Hypercar class, however confirmation of such a program has not been made.