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Motorsport

Good heavens! Lamborghini’s SC63 hypercar is a beast

And it wants to win Le Mans in 2024. Give it what it wants immediately

Published: 13 Jul 2023

Thought last month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans was competitive? Wrong. Next year is when things really get interesting, with even more carbon fibre soldiers arriving to do combat for endurance racing’s biggest prize. This is Lamborghini’s gladiator.

Blimey. Revealed today at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the SC63 (short for Squadra Corse 1963, we assume) is an LMDh prototype fitted with a 3.8-litre twin turbo V8. It’s a ‘cold V’ set-up, with the turbos mounted outside the engine’s vee angle for better cooling, lower mass and therefore better grip, claims Lambo.

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As per the rules, power is limited to 671bhp, with standard bits including a Bosch electronic control unit, battery, motor generator unit (yep, it's a hybrid) and gearbox. Not that that’s stopped Lamborghini tinkering with how the ratios are selected, or the mechanical slip diff.

The monocoque is the work of Ligier, and as Lambo is the first to turn to the French firm for LMDh machinery, it’s been able to specify its wants and musts for the push rod front suspension design, weight distribution and ease of service. Fewer compromises, it reckons.

Meanwhile the bellhousing - home to an electric motor - slots in between the engine and the transmission, improving the SC63’s torsional stiffness.

And the bodywork has been developed in-house by Lambo’s Centro Stile department. Important work this, because they only get one shot at it; no F1-style development war allowed by the regs. So it’s set up assuming a worst-case scenario of high temperatures to give it a wide operating window.

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In total there are eight radiators: one for the gearbox, a condenser for the air con (yes, there is air con), one each for the energy recovery and storage systems, a pair of water radiators and two intercoolers.

The livery should be familiar to Huracan GT3 fans, with Verde Mantis green dressed with Nero Noctis black over the cabin, bonnet, diffuser, rear fin and wing. Italian Tricolore colours too, obviously.

​​“The SC63 is the most advanced racing car ever produced by Lamborghini and it follows our roadmap ‘Direzione Cor Tauri’ laid out by the brand for the electrification of our product range,” said the big boss, Stephan Winkelmann. “The opportunity to compete in some of the biggest endurance races in the world with a hybrid prototype fits with our vision for the future of high-performance mobility, as demonstrated for road legal cars with the launch of the Revuelto.

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"The SC63 LMDh is the step into the highest echelons and into the future of motorsports for our Squadra Corse."

Two cars will be built: one to take on Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship, the other to contest the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship across the pond. Drivers include factory figures Mirko Bortolotti and Andrea Caldarelli, while ex-F1 talents Romain Grosjean (signed up last year) and Daniil Kvyat have been added to the programme. There are more to come too, we’re told.

Lamborghini has partnered with the Iron Lynx team to run its cars in competition, and testing begins within weeks. Ferrari’s 499P had barely a year to find its feet, and that did okay, didn’t it?

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