The 2023 factory colors for the pair of BMW M Hybrid V8 cars that will grace a full season of the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship’s new GTP class were first unveiled at a launch event at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles on Thursday evening. night.
The first prototype developed by BMW M Motorsport in 25 years will sport an avant-garde livery based on iconic BMW M colours.
Guests at the Los Angeles event included BMW M CEO Franciscus van Meel, BMW M Motorsport Director Andreas Roos, IMSA Chairman John Doonan and BMW M Team RLL owners Bobby Rahal, David Letterman and Patrick Lanigan.
Franciscus van Meel said: “We are proud that, in parallel with the 50th anniversary of BMW M, we are returning to the great motorsport stage with the BMW M Hybrid V8. We are delighted that this adventure is starting in North America, the most important international market for BMW M GmbH. After all, the BMW M Hybrid V8 is more than just a racing car, it is paving the way for an electric future for BMW M, emphatically demonstrating just how dynamic and emotive electrified M Power can be.”
Andreas Roos: “Being back in the top class of motorsport and fighting for overall victories in such legendary races as Daytona, Sebring and Road Atlanta in 2023 is a huge challenge and great motivation for everyone at BMW M Motorsport. We have worked very hard in recent months to have the BMW M Hybrid V8 ready to race in a short time. Thanks to all our partners in Dallara, BMW M Team RLL, our RMG development team and BMW Group Designworks for the fantastic support with the assembly, development and testing of the car. And thanks to our sponsor partners too. Without your support it would not be possible to carry out a project of this type. The BMW M Hybrid V8 is a beautiful racing car. Now it’s our job to make it fast. We are working towards this goal day in and day out and are confident that we will be ready in January when we really get down to business for the first time at Daytona.”
BMW M Team RLL Director Bobby Rahal said: “There is no doubt that we understand and appreciate the level of commitment and dedication that RLL will require to succeed in this new venture. BMW M Motorsport provides us with a great car, a great engine and a great driver line-up, which we are very happy about. We understand the scope of the challenge that lies ahead and look forward to meeting it head-on. As has been the case before, the level of collaboration and teamwork has been tremendous. Being on the ground floor certainly gives our staff a good perspective of the car from the start. I learned a long time ago that you temper your expectations. Yes, you’re hopeful and you know you’ll ultimately succeed, but as with any new car program, there are unforeseen circumstances that can work for or against you. For RLL, it is a question of being prepared for either of them”.
The BMW M Hybrid V8 began its extensive US test program earlier this week with a test at Sebring International Raceway (USA). The test car will also be on display at the upcoming Petit Le Mans weekend.
Following on from the camouflage livery used by the BMW M Hybrid V8 during testing, the livery for the racing season also comes from BMW Group Designworks under the program leadership of Michael Scully.
The 2023 works livery differs from the heritage-based ‘Icons of IMSA’ camouflage with a “future-oriented coat of arms composed of modern, bold, fractal blocks of the iconic M colors and M logo.”
“These elements have been deconstructed to form what might at first appear to be an abstract triangular pattern on the BMW M Hybrid V8, but when viewed from the side the M logo snaps into place. – M rebuilt, so to speak,” Scully explained.
The design also features ‘Mbedded’ references to the BMW logo and uses blue and purple elements to pronounce the natural colors of electricity.
In addition, the factory livery bears the matt black extension, now exclusive to BMW M Motorsport, forward of the cockpit below the driver’s side of the windscreen, thus extending the hallmark of BMW interior design from driver orientation to the exterior of the car. to improve driver focus. In fact, on race-ready cars, this non-reflective matte element will be the only black foil on the car, as all other black areas shown at launch will remain in their original carbon fiber finish. “This measure allows us to reduce the weight by 25 to 30 percent compared to a conventional livery for racing cars. Less is more,” Scully said.
The debut of the factory livery of the BMW M Hybrid V8 also provides the first opportunity to see the car’s surfaces without camouflage and identify aspects of the design, which may have previously been hidden.
The design of the laser-illuminated kidneys matches the open, flowing architecture of a modern prototype race car, and the air passing under and through them is critical to the car’s aerodynamic performance; both in terms of cooling and downforce efficiency. The front end of the car invokes the faceted bonnet, nested BMW logo and inverted “Y” configuration between the kidneys of the BMW M Vision Next, and is a great example of BMW’s show cars informing not only the production cars, but also racing cars. .
Kidney Illumination uses new and exciting technology. The innovative Swiss company LESS SA has developed a new approach as an alternative to LED lighting in which the light is generated by a nanoactive optical fiber activated by a laser. This provides ultra-bright, ultra-uniform light within a very small form factor, thereby saving considerable weight and energy when integrated into a car. This technology was also presented as a vision of the future for the first time in the BMW M Vision Next in 2019.”
In the transition around the side of the car, other BMW icons become apparent: the forward-sloping shark nose, the boomerang-shaped guide vane just behind the front wheel arch that summons the BMW’s air vent function M4, M mirrors and a modern interpretation of the Hofmeister twist. The sidepod carries a sharp diagonal feature line that punctuates the rounded surface above it and, at the same time, also helps define the required front diffuser airflow outlet. “A great example of the interdependence between BMW design DNA and dedicated efficiency that makes racing projects like this so compelling,” said Scully.