…the German brand will also be taking part in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the American IMSA with a hybrid prototype; a project which has recently been given the green light. The spectacular vehicle will have a maximum power of 500 kilowatts, about 680 horsepower.
Every aficionado will know that the firm from Stuttgart is a true icon of the French competition having been intimately linked to it in the past. In fact, Porsche remains the most successful team in the history of Le Mans, with an incredible record of 19 overall wins.
The bombshell announcement came after Porsche issued a statement explaining that its Executive Committee had given the go-ahead to the development of an LMDh prototype.
The text explains how, after a long evaluation period, the German brand was told to build a vehicle based on future regulations. Starting in 2023, LMDh (Le Mans Daytona Hybrid) cars will form a new category at the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar North American Championship.
Porsche gladly welcomed the introduction of this new category of hybrid prototypes when it was jointly announced by the organizers of the ACO / WEC and IMSA. The racing cars, weighing around 1,000 kilograms, will be powered by a hybrid system boasting 500 kW (680 hp).
“The new LMDh category allows us to fight for overall victories with a hybrid system at the Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring classics without breaking the bank. The project is extremely attractive for Porsche. Endurance racing is part of our brand’s DNA”. – Explained Porsche AG CEO, Oliver Blume.
Michael Steiner, Member of the Porsche AG Research and Development Board had the following to say on the matter:
“Mid-term, Porsche offers three different driving concepts: electric, hybrid and pure combustion-engined cars for the road. We want to represent this trilogy in both the development of our cutting-edge road cars and in motorsport. We use the all-electric drive to contest Formula E as part of our works commitment and the highly-efficient and emotional combustion unit in GT racing. Now, the LMDh class closes the gap for us. If regulations finally allow for the use of synthetic fuel, that would be an extra incentive for me in terms of sustainability”.
This new development will allow for identical vehicles to fight for overall victories in endurance races around the world for the first time in more than 20 years. In addition, the new LMDh category is set to be highly profitable.
The improved LMP2 chassis, on which these vehicles will be based, as well as the specs of the hybrid system, including its electronics, will be standardized.
Also, chassis from four different manufacturers will be available. Each brand will be free to select its type of combustion engine as well as the design of its body within the regulatory framework.
Hybrid engines enjoy a long and very successful tradition at Porsche Motorsport. At the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Porsche’s prototype of the LMP1 class managed to take the manufacturers and drivers’ championship titles, as well as three years in a row victories.
Images of Porsche: Porsche Motorsport.