Last year, only a few days before Christmas, Porsche AG showed off a sneak peek of an upcoming LMDh Endurance race car prototype. And while that first teaser gave some sense of what its future WEC and IMSA race car would look like, we were still left wondering about a great many specifics of the car. Fast forward to today, however. and the Stuttgart firm has now officially revealed what it’s christened the Porsche 963.
A completely novel LMDh prototype design, the 963 wears what looks like a modern take of the bodywork worn by the marque’s earlier endurance race cars like the 917 and 956, albeit with sleeker styling, partially exposed tires, a full-length wing, and what we confidently assume is a much more impressive drag coefficient. Behind the driver sits a hybrid powertrain that generates 500kW (580hp), though Porsche has revealed little more regarding the racer’s power plant. In typical Porsche fashion, the company has called on its long-term race partners, Michelin and Multimatic, to develop the car’s tires and chassis, respectively. The successor to the 919, the 963 has seen its bodywork cloaked in Porsche’s traditional white, red, and black race livery colors, as well.
Campaigning in the new GTP class under the banner of the Porsche Penske Motorsport team, two of the hybrid-spec 963s will be fielded in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship, with one headquarters facility in North Carolina to manage the IMSA series and the latter series’ efforts being headquartered out of Mannheim, Germany. The Porsche Penske team has already racked up around 4,900 miles of testing so far in 2022, though the prototype racer won’t officially be homologated until later this Autumn — if all goes well.
Unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the all-new Porsche 963 is scheduled to make its competition debut in January of 2023 at that year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.