It’s been more than 20 years since Cadillac competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The brand has had lots of success in IMSA, with the DPi-V.R claiming the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2017, 2018, and 2021 — plus four wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. So it makes sense that the next move is to go global with the sultry looking racer you see here.
Today, Cadillac and General Motors revealed their Project GTP Hypercar, which will compete in both the IMSA WeatherTech Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2023 endurance racing season. Cadillac is the third manufacturer to reveal its GTP Hypercar out of four manufacturers signed on for the new class, which is set to debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January of 2023.
Just look at it. There is Cadillac DNA oozing from every line on this car. The machine, with its forged carbon fiber bodywork, was built in partnership with Dallara, one of four approved Hypercar manufacturers. The front and rear lighting mirrors the designs you see on Cadilla street cars today. Check out the taillights: Chris Mikalauskas, lead exterior creative designer at Cadillac, explained that the taillights are acrylic slabs illuminated via front-mounted LEDs. This makes the brake lights visible from the sides, which should look amazing during nighttime racing at Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans.
Cadillac’s new racer uses a brand new 5.5-liter V8 distinct from the one that will power the 2023 Corvette Z06, paired with a hybrid system that will be shared by competing vehicles from Acura, BMW and Porsche.
This being a new engine, we will have to be patient for some solid figures on output, as the drivetrain has only gone through preliminary testing. However, a press release from IMSA in April gives us an idea of what to expect:
“The combined power level that is permitted by regulation is going to be between 480 and 520 kilowatts at the wheel (643-697 horsepower). And the fact that we’ve got this method of controlling power and regulating power via torque sensors also promotes convergence to LMH, which is restricted by the same formulas, the same methods. This is why we all collectively – FIA, ACO and IMSA – worked so hard towards this goal.”
Cadillac plans to hit the track with this new Hypercar soon, as it along with every other participating manufacturer outside of Porsche plans to begin GTP testing this summer. Leading the charge on-track will be Laura Wontrop Klauser, GM sports-car racing program manager.
Wontrop Klauser says the biggest challenge will be ensuring the hybrid system is working well and integrated with the Cadillac-built systems. That same hybrid system, developed jointly by Bosch, Williams Advanced Engineering and Xtrac, is already getting real-world track testing with Porsche, which was responsible for in-car development. Porsche’s data is being shared with Cadillac, BMW and Acura, as well as 2024 entrants Lamborghini and Alpine.
Cadillac’s GTP entries for the 2023 IMSA season will be fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing and Action Express Racing; WEC teams and drivers will be announced at a later date. Expect to see the Cadillac Project GTP Hypercar make its competition debut at the 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona.