Lamborghini was averse to motorsport in its early years but recently it’s dabbled successfully in GT3 and Super Trofeo racing and now it is all set to enter the gruelling 24 hours of Le Man’s races from 2024. But the new LMDh racer is more than just a flag-bearer for the Squadra Corsa racing division of Lamborghini. It shows the future of the Italian car-maker as it gets ready to move to twin-turbo V8s.
The new race car will debut in the Hypercar category of the FIA World Endurance Championship series and in the GTP IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. Le Mans is arguably one of the toughest tests for man and machine, and for Lamborghini, its rakish LMDh-spec racer ditches the famous naturally aspirated V10 found in the GT3 car for a hybrid twin-turbo V8 developed by Squadra Corsa itself.
Due to competition rules, the race car is limited to 470kW (640hp) while rumours suggest a top speed nudging 340km/h and a weight of 1030 kg. For the chassis, the Italian marque has collaborated with Ligier Automotive.
“I am absolutely delighted that Lamborghini will be taking the next step in our motorsport journey. LMDh will play a special role in Lamborghini’s
motorsports strategy, giving us the unique opportunity to expand our customer racing activities to new platforms and enforce our long-term partnership with customer teams and drivers,” said Giorgio Sanna, Lamborghini Head of Motorsport.
“This step-up into the highest echelon of sports car racing marks an important milestone for our company. On one hand, it will give our successful motorsports program even more visibility, but it will also allow us to test future technologies: our LMDh prototypes will become our most sophisticated open laboratory on four wheels,” adds Stephan Winkelmann, Lamborghini Chairman and CEO.
For Lamborghini choosing this engine configuration is not a surprise since other participants like Porsche also use a twin-turbo V8. Plus, with the Huracan and its naturally aspirated V10 being sent into retirement, the future Lamborghini entry-level supercar will undoubtedly have a twin-turbo V8 with some sort of electrification. Will it be the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 found in the URUS and Audi RS6? One can only imagine so.
The design of the racing car also does echo the edgy styling which we saw with the Sian or the re-born Countach with the sharper flanks along with large LED headlamps. Many car-makers go racing to test out new technologies including engine configurations which will eventually trickle onto the production cars. The Lamborghini LMDh racing programme is one such test bed for future cars and a sneak peek into what will be offered underneath the future Huracan successor.
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