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Porsche partners with Multimatic for new hybrid championships

18 May 2021

Porsche Motorsport is to team up with Multimatic to build its LMDh racing cars to compete in the newly created Championships from 2023.

The racing prototypes fitted with a hybrid powertrain system will compete in the newly created sports car championships: the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC and the North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023.

Porsche will use the Multimatic chassis as the basis for the development of the its LMDh prototype, which will also be competing for overall victories in the endurance classics at Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans as of 2023. The factory cars will be fielded by the recently created Porsche Penske Motorsport team.

The regulations for the LMDh category stipulate that all prototypes in the new top class are to be based on the chassis of one of four approved manufacturers (Multimatic, Oreca, Dallara and Ligier).

The acronym LMDh stands for Le Mans Daytona Hybrid. The Volkswagen Group’s sister company Audi will also be collaborating with Multimatic, which will result in more positive synergy effects in the joint development of these new racing cars.

“Multimatic is the most obvious and logical solution for us,” says Fritz Enzinger, Vice President Porsche Motorsport. “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.”

“This partnership with Porsche Motorsport is the culmination of thirty years of building our expertise in the area of competition vehicle engineering and development. It is a privilege to be chosen by Porsche for their next chapter in global hybrid prototype competition“, comments Larry Holt, Executive Vice President, Multimatic Special Vehicle Operations.

“I am equally delighted with the recent Porsche Penske Motorsport announcement as we have enjoyed a long relationship with Roger Penske and his organisation, as both collaborator and competitor. I can think of no better team, than our North Carolina neighbour, to campaign the new cars.”

The new LMDh category will be part of the new top class at endurance classics such as Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring as of 2023 and features a maximum in terms of cost effectiveness. It will be based on a chassis that each brand is permitted to combine with its own individually styled bodywork. Despite the tight regulations, manufacturers are given considerable freedom when it comes to the powertrain system. There are no specifications regarding the design and displacement of the combustion engine, for instance. Coupled with a standardised hybrid system, the engine output will be 500 kW (approx. 680 PS). The vehicle’s basic weight is specified at 1,030 kg.

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