Porsche has given a first glimpse at its new endurance racing prototype that will compete for victory in the 2023 Le Mans 24 Hours.
The German manufacturer will return to top-flight endurance racing for 2023 with a new machine built to the cost-controlled LMDh regulations. Porsche will begin an extensive test programme with the car next year, and has signed experienced racer Dane Cameron and Felipe Nasr to lead the development work.
The images show zoomed-in elements of a prototype car in a camouflage livery, mostly focusing on the rear end and large rear wing. They show that the car features a distinctive low rear brake light bar. No images showing the front of the car – where Porsche has the most styling freedom – have been shown.
Unlike the Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) regulations that Toyota and Peugeot’s sports prototypes are built for, the LMDh rules are based around spec chassis, which manufacturers must source from one of four entrants. Porsche is collaborating with VW Group sibling Audi, which will also enter the LMDh class in 2023, on the project. Both cars will use chassis built by Multimatic.
While the aero specs off the cars are set, Porsche will be allowed to fit bespoke bodywork to link the machine to its road cars, and can add its own powertrain elements – although all LMDh cars must use a spec hybrid electric motor. Peak power output is capped at 670bhp.
LMDh cars will be eligible for both the World Endurance Championship, which includes Le Mans, and the American IMSA Championship. Porsche will enter both, with leading US squad Team Penske running its works programme.
American Cameron, 33, has extensive experience of racing in IMSA, having twice won the top prototype title in 2016 and 2019. He also spent three season racing a Penske-run works Acura.
Nasr, 29, has also won two IMSA titles driving for Action Express Racing in 2018 and this season. The Brazilian previously raced in Formula 1 for Sauber in 2015 and 2016.
Penske Porsche Motorsport is due to begin an “extensive” test programme for the new LMDh car in January.
Porsche will face stiff competition when it returns to endurance racing in 2023: as well as Toyota and Peugeot in the LMH class, Audi, Acura, BMW and Ferrari are among the marques to commit to LMDh for 2023 onwards.