Cadillac has confirmed that it’s going to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2023 in the LMDh category. The American carmaker is showing off a preview of its prototype, the LMDh-V.R, and I’m getting a strong Bruce Wayne vibe from this thing. Yes, Cadillac is running the Batmobile at Le Mans and Daytona.
I mean, if anyone was going to do it, it had to come from one of Detroit’s big three. It couldn’t be Porsche or Peugeot. Dodge may have gotten away with it, but Cadillac is my pick, because it’s the dark horse of American performance.
I should say that’s a bit of an undeserved reputation. Not only because the V cars needs more fanfare, but because Cadillac’s motorsport division has been pretty succesful. Cadillac’s DPi-V.R has four consecutive wins at the 24 Hours of Daytona, where it debuted in 2017.
This new LMDh car plans to carry on Cadillac’s wins in that same competition, as it will debut at Daytona in 2023. After that, it will go on to compete at Le Mans and in other IMSA and WEC races.
Cadillac is teaming up with Chip Ganassi Racing and Action Express Racing for this new machine, and the hybrid car will be jointly developed between GM design, Ganassi and Dallara.
The LMDh-V.R will combine an undisclosed “new Cadillac engine package” with the common hybrid system that cars in the LMDh category will all have. The LMDh category has minimum weight of 1,030 kilograms, or about 2,271 pounds, and it caps the power output to 500 kW, or just over 670 horsepower.
Cadillac’s combustion engine has to make at least 630 of those horses, while the hybrid motor can’t make more than 67 HP. That gives the carmakers room to dial in their setups. While the chassis for any car running in the category has to come from one of four builders — Dallara, in this case — carmakers are free to modify the bodywork. That’s why Peugeot has the big cat tail lights, while Cadillac rocks the Batmobile look.