BMW has revealed the first firm details of its 2023 LMDh car, due to start testing in the coming weeks. The BMW M Hybrid V8 has been styled by BMW Group Designworks. According to Franciscus van Meel, CEO of BMW M, “The most critical task and the greatest challenge for the LMDh program design team was that the prototype must be clearly recognizable as a BMW M Motorsport car. 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.”
Making good use of the styling freedom afforded by the LMDh rules, the car incorporates a variety of BMW M design elements such as twin BMW icon lights, a Hofmeister kink window graphic, M ‘hook’ mirrors and tail-lights that mirror production units.
The car will complete its testing in camouflage livery that features many elements from five decades of BMW’s 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 that 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 racetrack,” 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 optimized 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.”