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The 2024 BMW M Hybrid V8 Looks Like It's About To Swallow the Entire Le Mans Grid

In 2021, BMW announced its return to top-flight sports prototype racing after more than 20 years. The comeback happened in 2023 when the M Hybrid V8 joined the GTP class of the IMSA SportsCar Championship. But that's not the end of the line for the German supercar. In 2024, the M Hybrid V8 will also join the FIA World Endurance Championship.
2024 BMW M Hybrid V8 race car 9 photos
Photo: NM2255 | Raw Car Sounds/YouTube
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With the 2023 IMSA season having ended in October, BMW is spending the remainder of the year testing the hypercar for its first-ever WEC campaign, which will also include the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The M Hybrid V8 was recently spotted doing laps at Imola Circuit, and the footage confirms that the BMW will be a fast and agile competitor for the Porsche 963, Toyota GR010, and the Ferrari 499P.

And needless to say, the massive kidney grille assembly also makes the hybrid racer look a lot more aggressive than its rivals. Heck, this thing might inhale the entire prototype grid in its path.

Jokes aside, the WEC-spec vehicle appears to be pretty much similar to the car we saw during the 2023 IMSA campaign. And while BMW may operate a few upgrades for 2024, the M-badged racer will still rely on its V8 hybrid drivetrain. As a brief reminder, the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 cranks out 640 horsepower and 479 pound-feet (650 Nm) of torque. When the rear-mounted electric motor kicks in, the total output jumps to 671 horses.

BMW will tackle the 2024 FIA WEC season with two cars under the BMW M Team WRT banner. As of this writing, BMW confirmed Dries Vanthoor and Sheldon van der Linde as two of the six drivers. The M Hybrid V8 will go against a massive grid that includes entries from Cadillac, Porsche, Toyota, Isotta Fraschini, Alpine, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Peugeot.

The Germans will be looking to improve their results from the IMSA GTP series. BMW Team RLL scored one win and four additional podiums in nine events, finishing last in the manufacturer's standings behind Cadillac, Porsche, and Acura.

The 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship will include eight events. The season is set to kick off on March 2 in Qatar. It will be followed by the 6 Hours of Imola, 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps through May, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. The 6 Hours of Sao Paulo and the Lone Star Le Mans will follow in July and early September. Finally, BMW will tackle the 6 Hours of Fuji in mid-September and the 8 Hours of Bahrain in November.

This will be BMW's first entry in the top-level class of the World Endurance Championship since 2000. BMW joined the prototype series in 1998 with the V12 LM, a race car developed in cooperation with Williams and powered by the same mill as the McLaren F1. Introduced at the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans, the V12 LM finished eighth overall.

BMW returned with a revised version called the V12 LMR in 1999. The car was entered in six American Le Mans Series events, winning four and placing second in the championship. The V12 LMR also scored BMW's only overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year. The LMR was retired after another successful American Le Mans Series season. The Germans won two races, scored six additional podiums, and finished second in the standings in 2000.

All told, the M Hybrid V8 has some pretty big shoes to fill. But until we find out if it's fast enough for the Porsches and Ferraris at Le Mans, check it out doing laps at Imola in the videos below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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