BMW M Hybrid V8 walkaround

This year marks 50 years of BMW's M division, created in 1972 to engineer the 3.0 CSL "Batmobile," which won the European Touring Car Championship the following year. To celebrate, BMW has debuted its new M Hybrid V8 LMDh race car, which will take to the track in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2023.

When it does, it'll be the company's first prototype-class racer developed by BMW Motorsports in 25 years. We saw the kidney-grilled race car in its camouflaged test duds in June, but now the full race livery has been revealed.

Video Transcript

BEN HSU: This is Ben Hsu with Autoblog, and we are here at the unveiling of the BMW M Hybrid V8 [? GTB ?] LMDh race car. And this is probably one of the best looking prototype racers from the modern age. There's a lot of details on this car that are references to BMW road cars.

What you see, obviously, first and foremost, is the large kidney-grill. These are all flow through openings, so that they all create downforce and cooling. And the kidneys are functional in this instance, and they're outlined by not LEDs, but a laser activated fiber optic technology. You can also see that there is this valley in the hood with an inset BMW logo, which is a throwback to some of their road cars.

The grill itself, when you can take a look on the side, the top edge leans forward a little bit more than the bottom edge, and that's a evocative of the BMW shark nose design that started back with the 3.0 CSL and a lot of the BMW cars in the '80. And the side have M style hook mirrors that are oriented towards the driver. If you look at the side, these, BMW calls them a boomerang shape. They're very similar to the vents on an M4 road car.

Now, moving towards the back, you'll see that the [? livery, ?] of course, is in the BMW M colors. But these kind of seemingly random shapes, when you get back here, come together to form an M, and that is really cool. It's almost like an Easter egg, but not really, because they've announced it. And when you get to the back here, you'll see a very cool tail light pattern and, of course, the wing.

All the black surfaces seen here are carbon fiber, and if we move to the front, there is a black section ahead of the cockpit. Now, that is not carbon fiber, but it's something that BMW has been putting on their race cars in the last few years. And it probably helps a little bit to reduce glare for the driver. And BMW also says that this purple and blue bit right here is a representation of electricity, because, of course, this is a hybrid gasoline electric 4.0 liter V8 with about 640 horsepower. They didn't give exact figures, but approximately 640. So that is the tour of the BMW M Hybrid V8 LMDh car. It's going to start racing in January of 2023.