BMW is letting the cat out of the bag: the Munich-based car manufacturer presented the final racing livery for its LMDh prototype, the BMW M Hybrid V8, and its regular drivers for the 2023 IMSA season at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles.

    The racer, which will be used in North America in the top class GTP, also has a color scheme in racing trim that “sets the scene for the classic BMW M colors,” according to a press release. The design comes again from BMW Group Designworks under the project management of Michael Scully.

    While the vehicle is still in camouflage paintwork during testing, the final racing paintwork reveals other details of the vehicle, including the laser-illuminated kidney grille. A new type of technology is used here, which BMW first presented in 2019 in the BMW M Vision Next as a vision of the future.

    BMW: LMDh with innovative laser technology

    “The innovative Swiss company LESS SA has developed an alternative to LED lighting that generates light using a nano-active optical fiber that is activated by a laser,” writes BMW in its press release. “This creates ultra-bright and extremely uniform light within a very small form factor, which saves significant weight and energy in the car.”

    Other distinctive elements of the LMDh: the faceted engine cover, the embedded BMW logo, the inverted Y configuration between the kidneys, the forward-bent shark nose, the boomerang-shaped wing just behind the front wheel arch, the M side mirrors and a modern interpretation of the Hofmeister kink.

    In addition, the Munich-based carmaker presented five drivers who will take the wheel of the BMW M Hybrid V8 in the 2023 IMSA season: works drivers Connor De Phillippi, Philipp Eng, Augusto Farfus and Nick Yelloly form the regular quartet. They will be supported by Colton Herta on their debut in the GTP class, the 24 Hours of Daytona.

    De Phillippi, Eng, Farfus and Yelloly as regular IMSA drivers

    Philipp Eng, who is still a regular DTM driver at Schubert Motorsport this year, says: “I’m really looking forward to the challenge and would like to thank BMW M Motorsport for their trust. I’ll never forget the first laps in the BMW M Hybrid V8. He’s a thoroughbred racing vehicle with a lot of power and downforce.”

    “It reminds me of the Class 1 vehicles in the DTM. It will be a lot of fun driving it on the IMSA racetracks.” Farfus added: “Representing BMW M Motorsport at the top level again and being part of the start of this new era of motorsport is a unique opportunity and a great honor for me.”

    “This exciting project is one of the highlights of my career. The competition is very tough and we will learn a lot in our first year. But I think we have everything we need to get good results right from the start. We’re definitely working hard at it.”

    A few more test drives await the BMW M Hybrid V8 before it makes its racing debut at Daytona. At the beginning of this week they were already on the Sebring International Raceway. The LMDh prototype will also be on display at next week’s IMSA season finale, Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.