Williams, Bosch and Xtrac Join Hands for LMDh Race Car Powertrain Development
September 21, 2020
This past weekend was a major one for the motorsport industry. After being postponed from June because of you know what, the 24 Hours of Le Mans happened. Aside from the race itself, we also got a more in-depth look into the future of endurance racing.
For a while now the industry has been working on trying to find ways to integrate new technologies. Both major endurance series (IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship) are set to allow so-called LMDh cars, in essence hybrids that would compete in a new top class.
All cars to be build in this class will be based on chassis provided by one of four approved chassis constructors – Dallara, Ligier, Multimatic or Oreca. They are to use an internal combustion engine made by the car manufacturers, and an electric system supplied by third parties. The approved combined power output is around 670 hp.
These details were announced at the end of last week, but soon after Le Mans ended, Williams Advanced Engineering announced it snatched the contract for the exclusive development of batteries. The company says it will be working with Bosch and Xtrac (motor/inverter and gearbox, respectively) for the development of the complete powertrain.
“We’re extremely proud to be involved in this exciting initiative which we believe is key to the future of sports car racing; allowing for a standard set of regulations on both sides of the Atlantic,” said in a statement Iain Wight, Business Development Director at Williams.
“As a company, we started in hybrid vehicle projects and have since grown our world class expertise in all areas of lightweight electrification; specifically high performance batteries and battery systems which will help secure the technical longevity of the series at the same time as meeting the future demands of hybrid systems for manufacturers.”
It is expected the new LMDh regulations would take effect in 2022.