Lamborghini Throws Its Hat Into the Hypercar Racing Ring
The exotic automaker joins a number of others already committed to the LMDh class, including Acura, Cadillac and Porsche.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
If you heard somebody say that Lamborghini is building a hypercar, it may not seem out of the ordinary. But this is not the kind of hypercar you may have in mind, and it's not something you'll be able to buy for a road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway.
Lamborghini on Tuesday announced that it will field a new race car for both the FIA World Endurance Championship's Hypercar class and the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship's GTP class. Slated for debut in 2024, it will be built to LMDh (Le Mans Daytona h) specs, making it eligible for both racing series, which was made possible when the FIA and IMSA combined forces to develop a single set of regulations that will kick off in 2023. This means you'll be able to see Lamborghini's still-unnamed LMDh race car all over the darn place, from the 24 Hours of Le Mans to the 12 Hours of Sebring.
While the final design won't be shown for some time, Lamborghini did put out a highly stylized teaser of its upcoming racer. A triangular light assembly looks similar to what we've seen on the Sian road car and the V12 Vision Gran Turismo concept, although the body doesn't look nearly as wild as the VGT concept. Nevertheless, the teaser has us excited to see what's coming down the pipeline.
The Lamborghini Sian is a wildly styled hybrid supercar
LMDh cars, including Lamborghini's, must be based on a chassis from either Dallara, Ligier, Multimatic or Oreca, but the automaker hasn't yet announced which it's using. There are additional mandates, including vehicle weight (1,050 kg) and a spec hybrid system. Lamborghini will use its own internal combustion engine, but it must rely on the provided electrified bits. LMDh cars have a much lower cost cap for production, helping automakers keep costs in line.
If this leaves you thinking, "Oh cool, I can't wait to see how they'll make a road car from this race car," I have some bad news for you. LMDh does not mandate a road-legal homologation, so what Lamborghini is showing here will be destined to stay on the track. LMH, the "original" hypercar group that shares a class with LMDh, used to have a requirement that all participating race cars have a homologated counterpart, but that was eventually scrapped when everybody realized that it is extremely cost-inefficient to build a roadgoing hybrid race car. Throw a few global catastrophes into the mix, and maybe a dash of on-track fire, and that's the end of that.
LMDh is set to be quite the hot ticket in the coming year or two, as Lamborghini joins the ranks alongside Acura, Alpine, Audi, BMW, Cadillac and Porsche. Those automakers will not only race against each other, but also against LMH cars from Ferrari, Peugeot, Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus and Toyota.