It’s difficult to say which was the first hypercar the term itself refers to a car with extremely high performance, beyond the normal performance limits of supercars. It could be based on a minimum power output, say 800 bhp, or it could be dependent on the era as technological levels have constantly advanced.

The Bugatti Veyron launched in 2005 with 987 bhp (1001 ps) could be a candidate for the first hypercar. In any case, there are now a number of models which produce in excess of 1000 ps and therefore qualify as hypercars.

The appearance of hypercars has inevitably led to the creation of a category in motorsport which has seen the first racing cars competing this year. The Hypercar category, a joint project of the FIA and the ACO, envisaged as the new top class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, has attracted a number of carmakers with 13 full-season Hypercar entries from 7 manufacturers.


The first prototype developed by BMW M Motorsport in 25 years was unveiled yesterday at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles, USA. It was the first time the BMW M Hybrid V8 was shown uncamouflaged and in its iconic racing colours.

Like the camouflage livery seen during the earlier testing phase, the design of the livery for the 2023 racing season also comes from BMW Group Designworks. The livery represents a significant departure from the heritage-based ‘Icons of IMSA’ camouflage with a future-facing coat of arms comprised of modern, bold, fractal blocks of the iconic M colours and the M logo.


Motorsport is an expensive sport to start with and for teams that participate professionally, it can be very expensive. In the upper reaches of the sport, like Formula 1 and endurance racing, it has become so expensive that the FIA and other organisations have looked for ways to control the costs – while still enabling the teams to innovate to be competitive and advance.

Endurance racing from this year sees the birth of the Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) and Le Mans Daytona hybrid (LMDh) classes which have many things in common. This will allow the cars to race in the American series run by IMSA as well as the European events like the Le Mans 24-Hours. This extends the scope of racing for teams who can now look at more events to take part in.

Porsche 963 2023

The Porsche Penske Motorsport team has developed the new Porsche 963 to take advantage of this. From 2023, two of the hybrid LMDh-spec prototypes will be entered in both the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The racing car which was unveiled yesterday at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England is being developed at two locations –  in Germany for the WEc and in the USA for the IMSA series. The exchange of data between the high-tech centres of Porsche Penske Motorsport occurs almost in real-time.

Porsche 963 2023

The official race debut of the 963 is planned to take place in January 2023 at the 24 Hours of Daytona in the USA. In the meantime, the WEC has opened the door for testing as part of the upcoming world championship races this year. Porsche Penske Motorsport is aiming for a non-competitive dress rehearsal at the final round of the season in Bahrain this November.

In compliance with the LMDh regulations, the  963 is based on an LMP2-category chassis. This newly developed chassis is supplied by the Canadian high-tech company Multimatic. Bosch, Williams Advanced Engineering and Xtrac contribute the standard hybrid components to all teams. At the heart of the powertrain lies a 4.6-litre V8 Biturbo, the engine based on the 918 Spyder hybrid sportscar. Its DNA goes back to the RS Spyder racing car, with which Porsche and Team Penske collected many victories between 2005 and 2008.

Porsche 963 2023

Porsche 963 2023

“Over the past few months, our people at Porsche Motorsport and Team Penske have grown into an efficient and committed squad – the Porsche Penske Motorsport Team,” said Urs Kuratle, Director Factory Motorsport LMDh. “We’ll have powerful driver crews in the 4 factory cars. The collaboration with our long-standing tyre partner Michelin and the chassis manufacturer Multimatic works flawlessly. The Porsche 963 should be homologated this autumn. Until then, we want to make further progress with test drives and gain additional insights. We can hardly wait for our first outing.”

The design of the new 963 echoes the victorious 956 and 962 classics from the 1980s. A continuous strip of lighting at the rear echoes the distinctive feature of the latest 992-generation 911. The white-red-black vehicle design is a salute to Porsche’s successful racing cars. And another tradition lives on: the new Porsche racer will be available to customers from the first year of competition.

Porsche 963 2023

“After 7,889 test kilometres during the first half of 2022, we’re on a very good path but there is still work to be done before the start of next season,” said Thomas Laudenbach, Vice-President Motorsport. “Our new Porsche 963 should continue the legacy of legendary models such as the 917, 935, 956, 962 and the 919 Hybrid. I’m positive that we’ll be well-positioned when it comes to technology and we’ve also created the relevant team structures to set us up for wins in the thrilling competition between many manufacturers and different concepts.”

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In 2023, endurance racing will begin a new chapter when the Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) and Le Mans Daytona h (LMDh) prototypes start racing for the first time. This new era will start off officially with the 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona. The event is usually held on the last weekend of January or first weekend of February as part of Speedweeks.

To date, carmakers that have confirmed their participation with LMDh racing cars are Acura, Audi,  BMW, Porsche, Alpine and Lamborghini. To that list can be added Cadillac, which may seem unusual as most people don’t associate the American luxury carmaker with motorsports.

2023 Cadillac Project GTP Hypercar LMDh

However, Cadillac does go racing and some recent achievements include winning the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021, 2018 and 2017; winning the Rolex 24 at Daytona 4  times in a row (2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017); and winning the Michelin North American Endurance Cup 4 times (2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017).

The carmaker’s LMDh car is referred to as the Project GTP Hypercar. It is a third-generation prototype racing car from the American brand. In 2023, Cadillac will contest the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the World Endurance Championship (WEC), including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“Cadillac will be competing again on the world racing stage, and we are all thrilled to return to Le Mans after 20 years,” said Global Cadillac Vice-President Rory Harvey. “By competing in both the 2023 IMSA and WEC championships, Cadillac Racing has the opportunity to demonstrate its capability, craftsmanship and technology.”

2023 Cadillac Project GTP Hypercar LMDh

2023 Cadillac Project GTP Hypercar LMDh

Co-developed by Cadillac Design, Cadillac Racing and Dallara, the Project GTP Hypercar incorporates key brand design characteristics. Elements of the brand’s heritage such as vertical lighting and floating blades are present throughout and connect the Project GTP Hypercar to the future of Cadillac.

“The Project GTP Hypercar is a unique convergence of form and function and showcases Cadillac’s future performance aesthetic,” said Chris Mikalauskas, lead exterior creative designer, Cadillac. “We have plenty more to come, from the upcoming race car to amazing production vehicles.”

2023 Cadillac Project GTP Hypercar LMDh

“Competing for the overall win at Le Mans with an iconic American brand like Cadillac is an honour,” added Laura Wontrop Klauser, GM Sportscar Racing Program Manager. “The entire team is excited to continue building Cadillac’s racing legacy by competing against the very best internationally and in the world’s toughest race.”

The new racing car will begin on-track testing in the near future. It will be powered by an all-new 5.5-litre DOHC V-8 engine that will be paired to the LMDh common hybrid system. The hybrid system will be composed of systems and components supplied by Bosch, Williams Advanced Engineering and Xtrac. Bosch will supply the motor generator unit (40 kW), while the battery system and control electronics from Williams will go on from below the chassis. The total system output will be limited to 500 kW.

Bosch, Williams Advanced Engineering and Xtrac will supply the systems and components for the common hybrid powertrain used by the LMDh racing cars.

The P1359 gearbox (pictured above) developed by XTrac has a 7-speed transverse arrangement with an integrated motor-generator unit (MGU) driving into the gearbox through an optimised geartrain. The gearbox uses Xtrac’s proven P1254 integrated valve actuator gearchange system. It houses full form ground and Xtrem polished gears and shafts in a magnesium RZ5 casing, which is a structural part of the car taking all of the loads from the rear suspension and rear impact structure, rear wing, and safety wheel tethers.

The gearbox also includes a limited-slip plate differential with an externally gas-charged pre-load and a semi-dry-sump oil system. Integral to the gearbox is a 3-litre engine oil catch tank which simplifies the powertrain installation, and the whole package including the MGU drive, but not including the MGU itself, weighs 78 kgs.

2023 Cadillac Project GTP Hypercar LMDh

Porsche and Penske preparing new LMDh prototype for endurance races from 2023


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