Here’s your first proper look at the Porsche 963 Le Mans car | Top Gear
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Here’s your first proper look at the Porsche 963 Le Mans car

This is Porsche’s 670bhp prototype endurance racer looking to win EVERYTHING

Published: 24 Jun 2022
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We’re almost contractually obliged to open with the fact that Porsche has won the Le Mans 24hr race 19 times outright, giving it clear room ahead of Audi (13) and Ferrari (9).

This then, is the car looking to make it magic number 20. It’s the Porsche 963 LMDh prototype, and it’s ready to go… testing. Well, more testing.

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That’s because it’s set for a 2023 race debut, however Porsche will run a ‘non-competitive dress rehearsal’ for the hybrid prototype at the final WEC round in Bahrain later this year. ‘Non-competitive.’ ‘Porsche.’ Sure.

The only technical details released include its 670bhp (500kW) output and its Multimatic-sourced chassis. The engine of course will be Porsche’s own, a 4.6-litre biturbo V8 that is based on the phenomenal 918 Spyder (remember that masterpiece?), itself sharing DNA with the RS Spyder racing car from the Noughties. Good genes. Also happens to sound quite incredible, too.

The hybrid element of the powertrain comes courtesy of Bosch, Williams Advanced Engineering and Xtrac.

Lovely shape, too, Porsche telling us it “hails from the victorious 956 and 962 classics from the 1980s”. Aside from the 918’s V8, there’s another small road-car link snuggled in there – a continuous strip of lighting at the rear that mirrors that on the 992-gen Porsche 911.

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It’s being prepped for both the WEC and IMSA (as per the new regulations), meaning it’ll contest the Daytona 24hrs, Sebring 12hrs and of course, Le Mans. Four 963s are being built in preparation in collaboration with Team Penske, and already some 7,889km have been driven during the first half of 2022.

“Our new Porsche 963 should continue the legacy of legendary models such as the 917, 935, 956, 962 and 919,” said Porsche motorsport VP Thomas Laudenbach. “I’m positive that we’ll be well positioned when it comes to technology and we’ve also created the relevant team structures to set us up for wins in the thrilling competition between many manufacturers and different concepts.”

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