BMW has revealed the design of it’s Dallara-based LMDh car that will be run by BMW M Team RLL run in the GTP category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, albeit with a camouflage livery designed to obscure some key elements.
Dubbed the M Hybrid V8, the look of the car includes the iconic twin-kidney grill came from BMW Group Designworks and is designed to celebrate the history of BMW M Motorsport in North America.
While few details were revealed, the name of the car suggests a V8 engine will be mated with the spec hybrid unit.
“The most critical task and the greatest challenge for the design team in the LMDh program design team was that the prototype must be clearly recognizable as a BMW M Motorsport car,” said Franciscus van Meel, CEO of BMW M GmbH. “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 camouflage livery in which the BMW M Hybrid V8 will complete its testing contains many elements from five decades of motor racing history in North America. The images of iconic racecars – the 1976 BMW 3.0 CSL, the 1981 BMW M1/C, the 1978 BMW 320i Turbo, the 1986 BMW GTP, the BMW M3 E36 GTS-2, the BMW Z4 GTLM and the BMW M8 GTE – create a graphic mosaic which obscures the shape of the BMW M Hybrid V8 to maintain competitive IP during development testing.
“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,” said 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 optimised 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 one of five manufacturers that have committed to the GTP class in IMSA competition, and will race in 2023 along with Cadillac, Acura and Porsche. Lamborghini is slated to join in 2024