• BMW’s M Hybrid V8 Racecar Will Lead To More Exciting M Cars In The Future

This is a case where manufacturers use motorsports to create better cars

BMW is set to make a comeback at the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the 24 hours of Le Mans in 2024 with the new BMW M Hybrid V8. This is the first time the German automaker is entering a prototype in the WEC since the V12 LMR in 1999, marking an eventual end to a 25-year absence from the sport. BMW joins a list of automakers such as Ferrari who are set to also return to the sport after a much longer 50-year absence.

BMW M Will Be Back In Le Mans, Ending A 25-Year Hiatus

BMW's M Hybrid V8 Racecar Will Lead To More Exciting M Cars In The Future
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The BMW M Hybrid V8 is also set to compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), specifically in the Hypercar (LMDh) class by 2024

The BMW M Hybrid V8 will be competing in the Hypercar (LMDh) class, and from the get-go, the racecar already looks promising. The car is already being developed for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, which means they already have a head start as they only need to tweak the M Hybrid V8 to conform to the regulations of the Le Mans Hypercar class. Andreas Roos, Head of BMW M Motorsport, said:

“Due to the very tight schedule for the LMDh project, the plan has always been to focus on one field of application in the first season in 2023. The IMSA series is perfectly suited for this. However, our mid-term goal was obviously to race on two fronts with the BMW M Hybrid V8, and also to use the major platform provided by the WEC and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We are now working determinedly towards this, at the same time as our program in North America."

Using Motorsports To Create Better Cars

BMW's M Hybrid V8 Racecar Will Lead To More Exciting M Cars In The Future
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Development of the BMW M Hybrid V8 is already underway for IMSA, which gives them a headstart as they only need to do a bit of tweaking to make it conform to LMDh regulations

Manufacturers often participate in motorsports as a way to learn from the developments they made to their racecars and then apply them to their series-production vehicles. BMW is no exception to this, and BMW M CEO Frank van Meel has confirmed that whatever lessons they will learn from the development of the M Hybrid V8 will eventually make their way into the brand’s M performance cars. He says:

"The BMW M Hybrid V8 represents a turning point towards electrification for BMW M. The IMSA series in North America and the WEC, which takes place all over the world, are the perfect platforms, on which to use our prototype to show how exciting electrified BMW M cars will be in the future.”
BMW's M Hybrid V8 Racecar Will Lead To More Exciting M Cars In The Future
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While the chances of a series-production version of the BMW M Hybrid V8 are slim, expect future generations of cars like the BMW M3 and M5 to have a certain degree of ferocity, efficiency, and speed expected from a racecar that was designed to survive continuous track punishment for the next 24 hours. Brands like BMW will also certainly give Toyota Gazoo Racing some tough competition in the WEC. The Japanese automaker has been the Team Champion since the 2018-2019 season.

BMW's M Hybrid V8 Racecar Will Lead To More Exciting M Cars In The Future
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BMW M CEO Frank van Meel has confirmed that whatever lessons they will learn from the development of the M Hybrid V8 will eventually make their way into the brand’s M performance cars

The BMW M Hybrid V8 was first introduced in June and it is powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 that produces a regulated 631 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. This is mated to an electric motor that comes with an inverter and a high-voltage battery that lets the racecar be driven in pure electric while in the pit lane or provide instantaneous assistance under hard acceleration.

Isaac Atienza
Isaac Atienza
Isaac Atienza is a Filipino motoring journalist who joined TopSpeed.com in 2021. He is a car enthusiast who especially thinks that wagons are the best type of vehicle, though sports cars and anything with three pedals also tickles his fancy.  Read full bio
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