Race cars are Motorsport.com's specialty, but that's not stopping us from getting excited every now and then about a new track-only machine. Porsche's LMDh prototype certainly fits that bill and we've been keeping an eye on the electrified hypercar from day one. It was originally teased in December 2020 and now the time has come to see it out in the open. The brief video shows the hybrid beast stretching its legs on the Weissach test track.
Set to join the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2023, the unnamed hybrid race car will be operated by Team Penske. Much like Audi's and Lamborghini's LMDh track weapons, it’s going to use an LMP2-based chassis provided by Multimatic. The short clip allows us to hear the combustion engine, which will work with an electric motor to deliver a combined output of 670 horsepower (500 kilowatts).
Gallery: Porsche Le Mans Hypercar Prototype
Porsche factory driver Frederic Makowiecki was behind the wheel of the new race car during a belated first run as it was originally supposed to hit the track in early December. However, the rollout was pushed back because some parts didn't arrive in time. Our colleagues at sister site Motorsport.com have it on good authority the camouflaged LMDh prototype completed several laps.
Frenchman Makowiecki took to Twitter to share the good news: "It was a very positive roll out: we could do some laps and discovered that the car is working as expected. Now we have a good starting point to go forward. My first thought went to all the people who worked so many months to get the Porsche LMDh car on the ground. It is very emotional moment to be allowed to represent them."
Testing at Weissach will continue for the next few days before the LMDh prototype will head to an actual race track towards the end of January. According to Porsche motorsport's newly appointed chief, Thomas Laudenbach, the car will be ready by late 2022. Meanwhile, its official name should be disclosed in the coming months.
In a best-case scenario, we'll be getting a 918 Spyder successor based on the Le Mans Daytona hybrid race car, but nothing is official at this point. Porsche has said a new hypercar won't arrive before 2025, so we're in for a long wait.