BMW’s Daytona bound LMDh prototype gets a turbocharged DTM V8

There has been much speculation as to which BMW engine will power Munich’s return to sports car racing in 2023. Insiders have now confirmed that the heart of the LMDh racer will join the trend of using old DTM engines to power future race projects. Like Audi has stuck its old DTM engine into its hybrid Dakar racer as a generator, BMW has reached back to its old DTM engine bin to find an adequate engine component for its new M Hybrid V8.

New M Hybrid Engine a DTM BMW V8 at Heart

The new biturbo P66/3 V8 is based on the normally aspirated engine that powered BMW’s 2017 and 2018 M4 DTM racer. BMW began evaluating a LMDh engine concept even before the Board of Management had given the go-ahead for a return to prototype racing. Based on time and sustainability constraints, not to mention budgetary limitations, Munich race engineers decided that it did not make sense to design a completely new engine from the ground up.

The team first considered the DTM turbo four-cylinder P48, and M8 GTE P63 V8 before opting to use the P66. “We were concerned about possible durability issues with the P48 and the P63 is too heavy,” BMW M Motorsport Drive Design boss Ulrich Schulz explained. So, they fetched an old four-liter 90° DTM V8 from the store, cobbled on a couple of turbochargers and promptly churned 470 out of it at 8,200 rpm. Along with a handy 650 Nm of twist.

BMW Formula 1 Tech foR Hybrid V8

Drive boss Schultz also confirmed a few other P66 advantages. “We saved time and budget by using special steels and aluminum still available from our BMW Formula 1 era for shafts, housings and other small parts.” Now the team is ready to mate it with the necessary new LMDh hybrid set-up’s standard electric motor in the back of that new M Hybrid V8.

Looking at the rest of the car, the M Hybrid V8 will feature BMW developed aerodynamics and styling applied to a Dallara built control chassis. The Dallara is one of four undercarriage options available to teams racing in IMSA, the World Endurance Championship, and the Le Mans 24 Hour. LMDh racers will compete on a level playing field with LMh hypercars there form 2023.

BMW M Hybrid V8 to Debut at 2023 Daytona 24

While Porsche, Ferrari and others have already confirmed a Le Mans return, BMW is still to decide on a 24 Hour and World Endurance Championship comeback. Munich has however confirmed that it will race against Porsche and Cadillac in the US IMSA Weathertech championship from next year. BMW plans to debut Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing-run M Hybrid V8s in the from the opening round 2023 IMSA 24 Hours of Daytona in January.

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