BMW’s LMDh prototype is being powered by an engine with experience.
The WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will see LMDh prototype race cars battle it out in the GTP class, and while the chassis and hybrid drive systems of the cars come from suppliers, the combustion engines of the cars are provided by the team. BMW is announcing that it has elected to use a P66/3 turbocharged V8 engine in its LMDh car, which will be paired with the hybrid system, and while this engine itself is new, it’s a descendant of an engine with motorsport experience of its own.
The P66/3 engine started life as the P66/1 engine, a naturally aspirated V8 engine used in the BMW M4 DTM during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Of all of the engines BMW had to choose from to use as a basis for the LMDh engine, the P66/1 was the closest to being LMDh-ready. However, it still took quite a bit of effort to transform it from a DTM engine into one for the LMDh race car. First, turbochargers had to be added and the engine had to be adjusted accordingly. Once this engine, the P66/2, was tested, the P66/3 was created, this time made to fit specifically to fit the chassis supplied from Dallara and the other components in the LMDh race car. It has a regulated 640 horsepower and 479 lb/ft of torque. Now, BMW has announced that the engine and hybrid system have successfully fired up together, and testing for the car will begin soon in preparation for the first race at Daytona in 2023.