Here Are the Juicy Details On BMW’s LMDh Twin-Turbo V-8
It was born to race in DTM, but is now being dropped in a Le Man Prototypeby Josh Conturo, on
Competing in endurance races at tracks like Daytona and Le Man is considered one of the upper-echelons of motorsports, eclipsed only by Formula 1, and even then there is room for debate as an F1 race takes about 2 hours and a Le Man endurance race can take 12 times as long. Even the cars are not separated by much, Le Man prototype cars are in some ways even more impressive than F1 cars as they can go for a whole day and only stop for gas, tires, and driver changes.
Anyway, BMW is set to compete in the 2023 IMSA GTP class of the WeatherTech SportsCar season (part endurance racing, part sports car racing) with their new BMW M Hybrid V8 race car. And with any new race car, you need a new racing engine.
How great is BMW’s new LMDH Engine?
BMW’s answer to that is the P66/3, a 90-degree-V, 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 with a max regulated output of 640 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque with a redline of 8,200 RPM. There are also four valves per cylinder, a dry-sump lubrication system, and the block and heads are made of cast aluminum with an iron lining inside the cylinders themselves. If we really want to get technical, the bore is 93 millimeters, the stroke is 73.6 millimeters, and the cylinder spacing is 102 millimeters.
We also know that the engine is a load-bearing part of the chassis. That was a key element that gave the P66/3 the green light to be dropped in the M Hybrid V-8 as it did not require an additional subframe and was closer to fitting the regulations than any other engine BMW was considering.
How did this engine come about?
The engine was technically born in 2017 for use in the 2017-2018 DTM season where BMW took 2nd place in the constructor’s championship. Back then, the engine was named P66/1, it was naturally aspirated, maxed at about 500 horsepower, and was powering the M4 race car. Later, the Bavarians added a pair of turbos to create the P66/2, which was also modified to be more durable and manage its temperature better than the P66/1.
Lastly, the P66/3 is the final iteration of the engine, and it adds a hybrid system to the mix. Speaking of which, BMW is playing the hybrid cards close to the vest as all we know about the hybrid system is that it consists of a high-voltage battery of some undisclosed size, an inverter, and the motor.
There will also be a separator clutch sandwiched between the combustion engine and electric powertrain to allow for fully electric driving for instances with lower speeds, such as driving in the pit lane and possibly under caution. The BMW M Hybrid V8 will debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 28-29 alongside competitors like Acura, Cadillac, and Porsche.