August 12, 2022
Enlarge / This is the Cadillac GTP Concept, which is our first look at what will become Cadillac’s endurance racing car in North America and at Le Mans.

Cadillac

This weekend saw the annual running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France. It was hardly a race for the ages—don’t worry, no spoilers here—but with any luck, that will change next year with the introduction of a new class of hybrid race cars (known as LMDh cars, for Le Mans Daytona hybrid) from manufacturers like Acura, BMW, Porsche, and others.

We’ve seen a teaser of the Acura ARX-06, and BMW showed off a semi-camouflaged version of its new M Hybrid V8 earlier in June. Porsche’s car, which started testing at the start of the year, will be formally unveiled and named later this month at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK.

And on the eve of Le Mans, Cadillac released the first public images of the Project GTP Hypercar, which the company says previews the design of the car that will contest the North American IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship and the global FIA World Endurance Championship (which includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans).

Cadillac has had a lot of success in IMSA with its DPi-V.R, which the company developed together with Italian race car maker Dallara (which is also working with BMW on the M Hybrid V8).

The LMDh rules encourage designers to use road car styling cues as a way to link these specialized prototypes to the more prosaic machines that normal people buy. There's a maximum downforce-to-drag ratio of 4:1 that means you're not penalized for doing so.
Enlarge / The LMDh rules encourage designers to use road car styling cues as a way to link these specialized prototypes to the more prosaic machines that normal people buy. There’s a maximum downforce-to-drag ratio of 4:1 that means you’re not penalized for doing so.

Cadillac

The relationship with Dallara continues with this new Cadillac race car, which will be powered by a 5.5 L V8 that Cadillac says is all new and uses double-overhead cams, so it’s not a derivative of the GM small-block pushrod V8 that powers the current DPi-V.R, among so many other racing cars. (Could it be a racing version of the V8 that Cadillac developed for a low-volume version of the CT6 sedan?)

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As with other cars built to the LMDh rules, the Cadillac will use a standardized hybrid system consisting of a Bosch motor-generator, a battery pack from Williams Advanced Engineering, and a gearbox from Xtrac.

“Competing for the overall win at Le Mans with an iconic American brand like Cadillac is an honor,” said Laura Wontrop Klauser, GM sports car 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.”