There’s been a few times this year that the BMW M Hybrid has made it onto the news feeds, each release being an update on the car, the liver and the powertrain. This latest bit of news is purely for the aesthetics of the car when seen at speed, in action via TV cameras. Back in June the car was shown off in pretty much the full race guise but it was wearing a temporary livery that was both to hide some things on the car, as automakers often do. Being a temporary livery design you’d expect it to have been something quickly thrown together to make the test car look a little prettier when in fact a lot of thought and design went into the temporary covering. That initial livery had a camouflage pattern that was made up of an assortment of images of some iconic BMW racecars; the 1976 BMW 3.0 CSL, the 1981 BMW M1/C, the 1978 BMW 320i Turbo, the 1986 BMW GTP, the BMW M3 E36 GTS-2, the BMW Z4 GTLM and the BMW M8 GTE.
The futuristic BMW M Hybrid V8 travelled to North America where it was presented to the world wearing its final racing colours for the first time during a star-studded launch event that was held at the famous Petersen Museum in Los Angeles before heading out on an intensive testing program at Sebring International Raceway. Making this livery as clever as the testing livery, the folk at BMW Group Designworks under the programme leadership of Michael Scully, created the works livery with a coat of arms made up of modern, bold, fractal blocks of the iconic M colours and the M logo. “These elements have been deconstructed to form what at first might appear to be an abstract triangular pattern across the BMW M Hybrid V8, but when viewed from the side, the M logo clicks right into place. – M reconstructed, if you will,” Scully explained.
“We are proud that, parallel to the 50th birthday of BMW M, we are returning to the big motorsport stage with the BMW M Hybrid V8. We are delighted that this adventure begins in North America, the most important international market for BMW M GmbH. After all, the BMW M Hybrid V8 is more than just a race car, it is paving the way for an electric future for BMW M, by emphatically demonstrating how dynamic and emotive electrified M Power can be.” said Franciscus van Meel.
Andreas Roos commented: “Being back in the top class of motorsport and battling for overall victories at such legendary races as Daytona, Sebring and Road Atlanta in 2023 is both a major challenge and huge motivation for everyone at BMW M Motorsport. We have worked very hard in recent months to get the BMW M Hybrid V8 ready for racing in a short time. Thank you to all our partners at Dallara, BMW M Team RLL, our development team RMG, and BMW Group Designworks for the fantastic support with assembling, developing and testing the car. And thank you to our sponsoring partners as well. Without their support it wouldn’t be possible to run such a project. The BMW M Hybrid V8 is a beautiful race car. It is now our job to make it fast. We are working towards achieving this goal day by day, and are confident that we will be ready in January when we really get down to business for the first time at Daytona.”
The event was also used to announce the drivers chosen for the 2023 IMSA season, and they are Connor De Phillippi, Philipp Eng, Augusto Farfus and Nick Yelloly and they will pilot the BMW M Hybrid V8 racecars.
“Since the GTP project was announced, it has been a dream of mine to be part of the programme. I know we are all eager to deliver championship results for BMW M Motorsport at the top level of IMSA competition, it is an honour for me to have been given this unique opportunity.” said De Phillippi.
Eng said: “I am really looking forward to the challenge and am grateful to BMW M Motorsport for the trust they have put in me. I will never forget my first laps in the BMW M Hybrid V8. It is a thoroughbred race car with a huge amount of performance and power. It reminds me of the Class 1 cars in the DTM. It will be great fun to drive it at the IMSA racetracks."
Yelloly: “After my first outings at Daytona and Sebring, it is fantastic to now contest the full season in North America – and in this awesome car. For me, it is a return to my roots with high-downforce race cars. I am really looking forward to it.”
Farfus said: “To represent BMW M Motorsport again at the top level, and to be involved in the start of this new era of motorsport, is a unique opportunity and a great honour for me. This exciting project is one of the highlights of my career. The opposition is very strong and we will learn a lot in our first year. However, I think we have everything in place to achieve good results from the start. We are definitely working hard to make that possible.”
Take a look at the YouTube video from the Mbedded YouTube series that shows the M Hybrid's initial testing, although it's still a little naked here, ready for the new livery: WE ARE M – Mbedded, Episode 8. THE TRUTH ABOUT A FIRST ROLLOUT | BMW M
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