Porsche and Audi have independently confirmed that each manufacturer’s race car in the upcoming LMDh wars will be the same chassis, built by Canadian company Multimatic. According to rumors circulating at Racer Magazine, every LMDh racer in the Volkswagen AG family will run the same engine. So Porsche and Audi will face off in a battle of who’s best running identical equipment? It sure sounds that way.
Multimatic, as you may know, currently builds the chassis for Mazda’s IMSA DPi prototype, the gorgeous and really friggin fast RT24-P. Multimatic also engineered the famous DSSV spool valve dampers which helped propel Red Bull to four consecutive Formula One championships, as well as the carbon chassis for the current Ford GT. It’s a multifaceted company, building components for basically every motorsport in the world, while also engineering some of the greatest street car components. There’s no denying that Multimatic will be a great partner for Porsche and Audi.
“Multimatic is the most obvious and logical solution for us,” said Porsche Motorsport VP Fritz Enzinger. “We have known this highly respected company and its team of experienced professionals for many years and are absolutely convinced of the quality of their work. We don’t have to set up a completely new business relationship with them, but can hit the ground running.
“That’s vital and is exactly what is needed when developing a new racing car. It is imperative that we eliminate friction losses to ensure that we are able to do a perfect job and deliver what is needed fast. There’s another factor of inestimable benefit. One part of Multimatic, like our team partner Penske, is based in Mooresville in North Carolina. Short distances and direct lines of communication will be of tremendous help in the development of the future LMDh prototype and in competition.”
While Audi was initially tipped to be bringing its DTM-developed small four-cylinder turbocharged engine into LMDh, that plan appears to have been shitcanned. The current chatter is that Porsche and Audi will make use of a turbocharged V8, possibly the same turbocharged V8. Every German automaker is running a four-liter hot-vee turbocharged V8 in their street cars these days, so why not stick to the same formula for the race car? Racer goes on to say that there is potential for Lamborghini and Bentley to develop their own versions of the Multimatic-Turbo V8 formula with their own decal package and factory race car drivers.
“This partnership with Porsche Motorsport is the culmination of thirty years of building our expertise in the area of competition vehicle engineering and development,” said, Larry Holt, Multimatic’s EVP of special vehicle operations. “It is a privilege to be chosen by Porsche for their next chapter in global hybrid prototype competition. The LMDh concept, and rules convergence between the FIA WEC and IMSA championships is unprecedented, and Multimatic’s commitment to the new model is all-in.
“The collaboration has already proven to be seamless and the enthusiasm of the team is palpable in every meeting. I am equally delighted with the recent Porsche Penske Motorsport announcement as we have enjoyed a long relationship with Roger Penske and his organization, as both collaborator and competitor. I can think of no better team, than our North Carolina neighbor, to campaign the new cars.”
I’m all for LMDh, and I really hope IMSA and the FIA WEC get the massive prototype grids we’ve been promised. That said, what’s to differentiate between an Audi, a Porsche, a Bentley, and a Lamborghini using the same chassis and engine? Thankfully LMDh will allow for manufacturer-specific bodywork, so they’ll at least look a little bit different. I guess either way, I’m really looking forward to 2023, and I’m sure Multimatic is, too.