BMW is the latest major automaker to preview its Le Mans Daytona prototype contender by releasing images of what will be known as the M Hybrid V8. The electrified machine wears an anniversary livery to mark 50 years of the M division and doubles as camouflage to conceal the finer details. There’s more to the exterior finish than that as it also incorporates blurry images of legendary race cars, including the 1976 3.0 CSL and 1981 M1/C.
The disguise can't hide the race car's spectacular shape with sleek headlights featuring two slightly tilted bars akin to those of the i Vision Circular concept. From the massive front splitter and see-through fenders to the giant rear wing and diffuser, the M Hybrid V8 is just as interesting as the other LMDh prototypes revealed so far. It gets a new interpretation of the M side mirrors and you'll also notice the vintage Motorsport emblem next to the unusual taillights.
2023 BMW M Hybrid V8
Featuring a Dallara chassis, the BMW M Hybrid V8 boasts a wide kidney grille we wouldn't mind seeing on a road car, especially on those that have the overly vertical configuration. Its racing debut is scheduled to take place next year in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with a decision regarding a 2024 Le Mans entry to be made in the foreseeable future.
BMW doesn't talk specs but look no further than the document on FIA's website about LMDh regulations. The race car's proportions must not exceed 5,100 millimeters (200.7 inches) in length, 2,000 mm (78.7 in) in width, and 1,060 mm (41.7 in) in height. The wheelbase will measure 3,148 mm (123.9 in), but the regulated distance between the axles will have an allowance of +/-5 mm for setup adjustments. Without fuel and a driver, the prototype must weigh at least 1,030 kilograms (2,270 pounds).
Partners for the hybrid system include Williams Advanced Engineering, Bosch, and Xtrac. Fun fact – a complete set of brakes must not cost more than €24,000 or about $26,000 at current exchange rates. Another tidbit worth mentioning is the minimum weight of the combustion engine, which together with the turbochargers and exhaust, must tip the scales at least 180 kg (397 lbs).
All the juicy specs can be found on FIA's website at this link. BMW says it will soon commence testing and is working on a Works livery that "exemplifies the dynamism and excitement of hybrid electric-powered competition."