Rumors surrounding the Italian automaker's Huracan replacement getting a V8 make even more sense now.
Interest in endurance racing has waned in the decades since the events that inspired Ford v Ferrari/Le Mans '66, but can you blame spectators? Toyota dominated the sport for an age, Porsche saw loads of success too, and both automakers won the big honors in cars that were never intended to be used on the street. But with new regulations for the World Endurance Championship that include hybridization, more automakers have decided to return to the sport with the hope of glory and future benefits in upcoming electrified road cars. What's more, these automakers are diverse, including Acura, Cadillac, BMW, Ferrari, and possibly even Dodge. Much more exciting, no?
Lamborghini also decided to join the sport, making it official back in March of this year, and has now revealed details on its bespoke twin-turbo V8 power plant for the project.
Lamborghini's new hypercar racer will compete in both the WEC and the GTP class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and in accordance with the regulations of the LMDh class, the car will have an internal combustion engine and a single-source Energy Recovery System (ERS) producing a combined total of no more than 500 kilowatts. In American, that's 670 horsepower. Beyond these rules, it doesn't matter if you choose a V8, a straight-six, or just about any configuration you choose, but weight is important too.
Like BMW and most other competitors, Lamborghini has gone the V8 route, with a 90-degree motor developed by the automaker's in-house motorsport department, Squadra Corse.
Remember what we said at the outset about LMDh cars feeding technology to road cars? Lamborghini is following that exact reasoning: "With Automobili Lamborghini embarking on a future of hybridization in its road car production, the LMDh represents a specific energy/performance project based on the experiences of the upcoming generations of its sports cars, fully aligning with the Cor Tauri company [electrification] strategy."
If you've kept up on the details surrounding the new hypercar class, you already know that certain parts are standard and cannot be enhanced by a team. For example, the electric motor, or MGU, is developed by Bosch Motorsport, while Williams Advanced Engineering supplies power management and energy storage systems, and the seven-speed P1359 hybrid gearbox comes from Xtrac.
Sant'Agata's new race car will be capable of a top speed of 211 mph and will weigh 2,271 pounds, excluding fuel and the driver, again, as per regulations. In terms of dimensions, Lamborghini says it will be no wider than 78.7 inches and no longer than 200.8 in. The wheelbase will be 123.9 in. The engine will have a minimum weight of just under 397 lbs. Carbon fiber elements of the car will be produced by HP Composites, and the base car, or spine, will be engineered with the assistance of Ligier Automotive.
That's all that Lamborghini is willing to tell us at this time, but with fresh rumors of a highly-strung twin-turbo V8 finding its way into the upcoming Huracan successor, one can't help but wonder if a new supercar and endurance racing could be used to market one another.
Lamborghini's new hypercar racer will enter competition for the first time in 2024 in both the abovementioned championships.
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