The LMDh racer will weigh 2,204 lbs and have a hybrid powertrain capable of 670 hp.
Finally, an auto manufacturer has formally signaled its entry into the future world of hypercar racing. After detailing its Le Mans 911 RSR racer, Porsche has officially expressed its intentions to build Le Mans Daytona hypercar prototypes that would compete in the new top sports car class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) starting 2023.
LMDh: A New Prototype For New Top Racing Class
Following a go signal from its Executive Board, Porsche is now getting ready to develop a new LMDh prototype. As per regulations, an LMDh should be based on a cost-capped car and it should be underpinned by an upgraded LMP2 chassis built by any of the four approved constructors (Dallara, Ligier, Multimatic, and ORECA). Porsche would have to provide the engine and bodywork, as long as they’re within regulations.
Porsche’s engine for its LMDh racer will be paired to a spec hybrid powertrain system, which will be jointly developed by Bosch, Williams Advanced Engineering, and Xtrac. The combined output of the conventional engine and the hybrid powertrain should be more than 670 hp (500 kW or 690 PS). Featuring standardized control electronics, an LMDh racer should weigh around 2,204 lbs (1,000 kg).
Continuing The Le Mans Winning Tradition
To note, Porsche quit 24 Hours of Le Mans at the end of the 2017 season when it posted its third consecutive overall victory. In total, Porsche won 19 times at the prestigious endurance race. The LMDh announcement essentially signals Porsche’s return to Le Mans as early as 2023, when the new top class debuts.
Fritz Enzinger, Porsche’s Vice President of Motorsport, remarked that they intend to continue its winning tradition at various major races with an LMDh vehicle, which should help keep costs reasonable. He noted that since other carmakers are also interested in competing, the entire motor racing scene could see a big boost.
Closing The Gap Between Three Drive Concepts
Michael Steiner, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche, remarked that three drive concepts have been employed in various racing scenes: conventionally powered models, fully electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrids. With the new LMDh prototype, Porsche would be able to close the gap between these three different drive concepts.