It's always a sign that things are going to get interesting when Porsche gets back into Le Mans at the highest level.
Looking back through the last 50 or so years, it would seem like Porsche wins Le Mans races like most people change their socks. It's the most successful brand in the history of the 24-hour race, most recently with its overall victory in 2017 with the 919 Hybrid. The company decided to take a break for a few years, but it'll be back for the 2023 World Endurance Championship season with a new technological terror, and this time it's packing twin-turbo V8 power, the company announced Thursday.
The still-unnamed car is being built to run in the new LMDh class in the World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. This means it'll run in legendary endurance races like Le Mans (natch), the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Daytona.
The drivetrain details are obviously shrouded in secrecy (because race car), but in addition to the layout, we know that the new V8 will be paired with hybrid tech and run on renewable fuels to help cut its carbon footprint. Porsche claims a power output of around 670 horsepower in race trim. For those of you playing at home, that's a lot.
The LMDh class is cool because it offers manufacturers a ton of variables to play with in terms of engine design. Cylinder count, layout and displacement are pretty much open, while the engine's rev limit is capped at 10,000 rpm. There is also a sound limit of 110 decibels on pass-by, which is the rough equivalent of a jackhammer.
There is also a minimum engine weight of 396 pounds, though this includes all of the intake and exhaust components, as well as the turbochargers and charge cooling hardware, if applicable. Lastly, maximum power is capped at 697 hp with a closely regulated torque curve. The result of all this should, in theory, be a diverse grid for fans to enjoy.
Porsche's LMDh prototype will make its official race day debut at the 2023 24 Hours of Daytona next January.