Lamborghini has revealed its car to take on Ferrari and Porsche at the world famous Le Mans 24 Hours race next year.
The Italian company’s in-house racing team showed off its LDMh hybrid hypercar for the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this morning.
As well as running in the WEC, the Lamborghini SC63 LMDh will also compete in the ISMA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship Endurance Cup, so it will race at the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
F1 drivers will race in the SC63
The car will begin the testing process in the coming weeks, and Lamborghini is working with Italian team Iron Lynx to run the car in competition. The company’s driver line-up will include former Formula 1 drivers Daniil Kvyat and Romain Grosjean, in addition to Lamborghini factory drivers Mirko Bortolotti and Andrea Caldarelli.
According to Lamborghini, the two ex-F1 drivers have used their knowledge of hybrid tech in F1 to help the engineers hone the car’s powertrain, which comprises a new 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine developed specifically for the company’s racing program.
Regulations limit the system output to 500kW, or 671bhp, including the power from the gearbox, battery and motor-generator that are specified by the regulators.
However, Lamborghini’s engineers have been able to work across all aspects of the car, having customised the gearbox to suit the powertrain and tweak the slip of the mechanical differential. The company is proud of its brakes, too, which it says strike a compromise between weight, durability, cooling and the ability to accommodate different driving styles.
Road-car-inspired detail design
Lamborghini styled the car’s bodywork in conjunction with the race design team, fitting the aerodynamic bodywork with styling cues from Lamborghini’s road cars. That includes the Y-shaped lights that have become a Lamborghini trademark, as well as the livery that will remain in keeping with the Huracan GT3 car.
That means the SC63 will be painted in Verde Mantis green, with a black stripe over the cabin, bonnet and diffuser, as well as the fin and wing. The Swiss watch manufacturer Roger Dubuis’ logo will also adorn the car, along with the Italian tricolour.
“We wanted to create a car that is immediately recognizable as Lamborghini,” said Mitja Borkert, Lamborghini’s head of design. “The size of the cabin and the main character of the car is driven by the sporting rules, but we have also implemented our own brand styling cues throughout the car.”
However, Lamborghini has had to bend to the will of the cooling system, which determined much of the design. And small wonder, when it incorporates two intercoolers, one gearbox radiator, one condenser for the air conditioning and one radiator for the Energy Recovery System (ERS), as well as one for the Energy Storage System (ESS) and two water radiators.
Lamborghini will have competition
The SC63 will be pitted against the new Alpine A424, as well as entries from BMW and boutique Italian brand Isotta Fraschini, plus the Porsche, Toyota and Cadillac brands, all of which will be bidding to steal away the Le Mans title won last month by Ferrari. The Prancing Horse won for the first time in 58 years with the 499P hypercar, which fended off a challenge from Toyota to take top spot.
But as well as competing at the highest level of motorsport, the SC63 has another job. It’s part of the brand’s plan to hybridise the entire range by the end of 2024, while still ensuring Lamborghini’s trademark performance.
“The SC63 is the most advanced racing car ever produced by Lamborghini and it follows our roadmap ‘Direzione Cor Tauri’ laid out by the brand for the electrification of our product range,” said Stephan Winkelmann, Lamborghini chairman and CEO.
“The opportunity to compete in some of the biggest endurance races in the world with a hybrid prototype fits with our vision for the future of high-performance mobility, as demonstrated for road legal cars with the launch of the Revuelto.”
- After reading about the new Lamborghini racer, you may want to read all about Porsche’s 2023 Le Mans competitor, the 963 hybrid
- Don’t miss our review of Le Mans 2023
- Also check out our guide to this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed
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