First unveiled in concept form in 2011, BMW’s i8 was an incredibly groundbreaking and highly influential supercar that set the stage for the current crop of hybrid super and hypercars that now dominate the market. A little over a decade later, and the Bavarian brand is now looking to re-establish itself as an innovator in the hybrid hypercar space with the debut of a state-of-the-art Le Mans Daytona h prototype.
Built by BMW’s M Motorsport Division, the M Hybrid V8 LMDh proto-racer boasts an ultra-low stance and a cutting-edge aero kit that produces enormous amounts of downforce. Despite its unmistakably modern appearance, this hypercar-class racer manages to retain several signature design cues from BMW, most notably the ultra-wide take on the brand’s hallmark kidney grille design. BMW has yet to reveal any specifics on the hybrid V8 powertrain — or what or where it is derived from — though we confidently anticipate world-class performance figures in terms of power, speed, and acceleration.
The M Hybrid V8 LMDh prototype has also been cloaked in a special test livery that pays homage to what BMW has called “50 Years of M.” A combination of black, white, and classic M Motorsport colors, this camouflage livery features several images of historic BMW endurance racers including the M1/C, the first purpose-built IMSA GTP car from 1981, and numerous winners of the Daytona 24 Hours — all of which are subtly worked into the design.
The M Hybrid V8 LMDh Prototype Racer is slated to make its competition debut in next year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series, where the car will be campaigned by the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Team — a successful Ohio-based race squad owned by Bobby Rahal, David Letterman, and Mike Lanigan.