Porsche 963 LMDh revealed – Le Mans contender set for 2023 debut

Porsche looks for victory number 20 at Le Mans with new Penske developed racer

Endurance racing and Porsche go together like currywurst and beer and this, the 963 LMDh is the German first latest take on that winning combination. Making its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, it will line up on the grid for the first time at Daytona International Speedway in January 2023.

Developed in collaboration with Team Penske racing to compete in both European WEC and American ISMA championships, the 963 will compete under the Le Mans Daytona Hybrid regulations, joining a class that also includes competitors from BMW, Lamborghini and Alpine. It will also compete against cars in the Le Mans Hypercar class from Toyota, Peugeot and Ferrari.

> Porsche 911 reimagined by Singer Turbo study shown at Goodwood FoS

As well as being a fully factory-supported effort, it will also be possible for customer teams to  compete with the car from the off in the new year. As with all LMDh cars, it'll run a specification LMP2-based chassis, in this case partnering with Canadian outfit Multimatic. Beyond this, Porsche will run its own bespoke powertrain and bodywork, the former a combination of the specification hybrid drive system paired with a twin-turbocharged 4.6-litre V8 engine.

​​’We were spoiled for choice with the engine for our LMDh prototype, because the product range offers several promising baseline units,’ explains Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Porsche Motorsport. ‘We decided on the V8-biturbo, which we feel offers the best combination of performance characteristics, weight and costs. The kick-off to the active test programme was an important step for the project.’

Contrary to initial reports, the V8 engine in question is not the production-based 4-litre unit, but a 4.6-litre unit that has direct connections to both the road-going 918 Spyder, and the RS Spyder racing program where the engine first saw service. As such, it runs a flat-plane crank but unlike both previous powertrain programs, will feature twin-turbochargers.

Regulations stipulate a peak power of between 643bhp and 697bhp, a range of which allows adjustments to be made within the Balance of Performance parameters to ensure parity between all LMDh and LMh racers. All powertrains are limited to 10,000rpm, and must weigh a minimum of 180kg, including the air supply, exhaust system and peripheral cooling components. There will also be a limit of one specific aero package for the entire racing calendar.

Porsche has also revealed the car’s official livery, which is a contemporary take on its usual black, white and red colour scheme. The racer’s lighting elements reference Porsche’s road cars, with a quad-light setup at the front and a single defined light bar right across the body’s leading edge. Unlike Peugeot’s wingless design, but very much like its rivals, the 963 will utilise a traditional rear wing setup. 

Porsche will run no less than four factory cars in its global racing campaign, all of which will make their debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January 2023 alongside BMW, Acura and Cadillac in the LMDh class. Lamborghini and Alpine will follow in 2024. 

Recommended

Porsche 984 Junior – dead on arrival
Porsche 984 Junior
Features

Porsche 984 Junior – dead on arrival

This miniature marvel could have seen Porsche enter the ’90s with a truly affordable entry-level sports car
11 Jan 2024
Why Rennsport Reunion is the world's best Porsche gathering
Rennsport Reunion 2023
Features

Why Rennsport Reunion is the world's best Porsche gathering

It’s the world’s greatest gathering of racing Porsches. We join the legions of fans – and the legendary drivers and engineers – at Laguna Seca for the…
3 Dec 2023
McLaren confirms Le Mans return for 2024
McLaren 720S GT3
News

McLaren confirms Le Mans return for 2024

McLaren Automotive has confirmed it will compete in the World Endurance Championship and Le Mans in 2024 with the 720S GT3
28 Nov 2023
Ginetta’s V8-powered G56 GT4 Evo makes racing more comfortable
Ginetta G56 GT4 Evo
News

Ginetta’s V8-powered G56 GT4 Evo makes racing more comfortable

The G56 GT4 has been given a comprehensive overhaul for 2024, bringing a host of usability and longevity improvements to the GT racer
20 Nov 2023

Most Popular

The Jensen Interceptor ‘Mk5’ is a 770bhp V8 hybrid restomod
Jensen Interceptor ‘Mk5’
News

The Jensen Interceptor ‘Mk5’ is a 770bhp V8 hybrid restomod

The groundbreaking Jensen Interceptor FF has been given an electrified overhaul almost 60 years after its launch, but it retains the all-important V8
28 Feb 2024
Renault Sport Mégane RS Trophy‑R – the car world's greatest misses
Renault Sport Mégane RS Trophy‑R
Features

Renault Sport Mégane RS Trophy‑R – the car world's greatest misses

Targeting a Nürburgring lap record proved the undoing of a potentially all-time-great hot hatch
29 Feb 2024
New Alpine A290: latest details on the Renault 5's hot hatch cousin
Alpine A290 concept
Features

New Alpine A290: latest details on the Renault 5's hot hatch cousin

Good news for fans of accessible performance, as Alpine reveals more details about its forthcoming EV hot hatch, the A290
26 Feb 2024