Reports of BMW joining the fascinating world of Le Mans Daytona hybrid prototype racing surfaced in early May of last year, and it didn’t take long for the rumors to become reality. The initial teaser was posted in November, but we haven’t heard anything about the LMDh program since then.
We’ve heard via the grapevine that a fresh official preview is on the way, and in the meanwhile, Autoblog has discovered a delicious tidbit from the guy in charge in BMW M Town. Frank van Meel said the LMDh racer would use V8 power in an interview at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy.
The following remark was made to illustrate a direct relationship between the forthcoming XM and racing, implying that the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 “S68” depicted below has been designed for both road and track use:
“Throughout our 50-year history, we’ve always looked at racing and series-production vehicles to see where they’re headed and what they can learn from one another.” We’re carrying on with the XM, which has a V8-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain, and [our future entry into the LMDh prototype category] has a V8-hybrid drivetrain as well. You can see that it works for high-performance automobiles when it works for racing.”
BMW will not be the only carmaker to use a V8 engine in its electric endurance racer; Porsche will do the same. Audi, like the Zuffenhausen brand, is believed to have a twin-turbo V8, although Peugeot has revealed its wingless LMDh vehicle would have a smaller 2.6-liter V6, also with a pair of turbochargers.
Toyota has also picked a twin-turbo V6 engine for the GR010, but with a larger 3.5-liter displacement. Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus had planned to employ a twin-turbo Alfa Romeo V6, but rules changed, raising the maximum power limit of the internal combustion engine. It persuaded SCG to choose for a more powerful twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8.
Finally, Lamborghini announced their LMDh participation earlier this month, but did not reveal the name of the ICE. However, since both Porsche and the Italian squad are part of the Volkswagen Group, there’s a fair probability they’ll use a V8 to save money.
In terms of VAG, the German conglomerate has stated that Audi and Porsche will both join Formula One in 2026, when the new engine rules are set to take effect. Unfortunately, BMW has already ruled out a comeback after parting ways with Sauber at the conclusion of the 2009 season.
Autoblog is the source.