The ACO and IMSA have finalized the LMDh technical regulations, confirming the hybrid powertrain and costs associated with the new formula, along with the intention to still launch the platform in 2022, although now later in the year.
Announced during Friday’s annual ACO press conference, IMSA President John Doonan and the sanctioning body’s technical director Matt Kurdock and his ACO counterpart Thierry Bouvet, along with ACO President Pierre Fillon, confirmed key details in a video presentation.
As previously announced, LMDh cars will feature a 500 kW (670 horsepower) combined power output at a minimum weight of 1030 kg with a downforce-to-drag ratio of 4:1.
The cars will share a common wheelbase of 3150 mm, with a maximum length of 5100 mm and width of 2000 mm, with the allowance of upper bodywork stylization by manufacturers but no changes allowed to the floor.
The manufacturer-supplied internal combustion engines will produce up to 630 hp, coupled with a 50 kW electric motor, to be supplied by Bosch, that can offer up to 200 kW of regeneration capability.
The entire hybrid powertrain, including a battery system produced by Williams Advanced Engineering, will be cost-capped at 300,000 Euros ($355,000 USD).
Hybrid software will be locked, eliminating the need for a dedicated hybrid engineer for each team.
The LMP2-based chassis, meanwhile, will cost a maximum of 345,000 Euros ($409,00 USD), not including the XTrac-supplied gearbox, which will be standard on all four approved chassis constructors.
As previously confirmed, ORECA, Ligier Automotive, Multimatic and Dallara are the licensed constructors.
The ACO and IMSA estimate the total cost for a LMDh car, minus the engine, will be 1 million Euro ($1.18 million USD).
“Since the announcement of the IMSA and ACO convergence back at Daytona in January and the opportunity for a competitor to enter the same car at both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship, we’ve received and responded to many specific questions prestigious automakers,” said Doonan.
“We’ve also had those same automakers very involved in the development of the LMDh regulations.
“I think all of us are very encouraged and confident, as we announce the final regulations today, it will bring more names to the table.
“Certainly the top level of endurance sports car racing has a very clear, tangible and very bright future.”
Fillon added: “I think this demonstrates effective work and collaboration between ACO and IMSA. Actually, we should have announced this in June had we not had the health crisis.”
Top ACO/WEC Class to Be Known as Hypercar
Fillon, meanwhile, confirmed that the top class of the FIA World Endurance Championship will be known as ‘Hypercar’ beginning next year.
The category will be open to cars built to the new Le Mans Hypercar regulations, grandfathered LMP1 non-hybrids and beginning in 2022, LMDh machinery.
Both ACO and IMSA executives were non-committal to the exact launch of LMDh, stating again that manufacturers will dictate the timeline, although late 2022 is now understood to be a more likely option.