Lamborghini Squadra Corse reveals the 2024 SC63 hybrid racer

Lamborghini Squadra Corse today unveiled its first hybrid endurance racing prototype, the SC63, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The SC63, which will begin testing in a few weeks, will compete in the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship Hypercar class, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and in the GTP class of the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship Endurance Cup, consisting of classics such as the 24 Hours of Daytona and Sebring 12 Hours. Lamborghini has partnered with Italian team Iron Lynx to run the car in international competitions and has recruited world-class drivers from the worlds of Formula 1 and endurance racing.

The LMDh project represents a new racing concept and fits in with Direzione Cor Tauri’s strategy presented in 2021: a roadmap for electrification that leads the company to hybridize the entire model range by the end of 2024 enhancing driving emotion and performance at the same time. Thanks to the SC63 this approach has also been applied to the motorsport program which represents a new pillar of the Lamborghini Manifesto: Driving Man Beyond.

“The SC63 is the most advanced race car ever produced by Lamborghini and follows our roadmap ‘Direzione Cor Tauri’ created by the brand for the electrification of our product range,” said Stephan Winkelmann, Chairman and CEO of Lamborghini. “The opportunity to compete in some of the world’s biggest endurance races on a hybrid prototype fits perfectly with our vision for the future of high-performance mobility, as demonstrated for road-legal cars with the launch of the Revuelto. The LMDh SC63 is a step into the highest echelons and the future of motorsport for our Squadra Corse.”

The SC63 features a new 3.8 liter twin-turbo V8 engine which has been developed by Lamborghini engineers specifically for the racing programme. The engine is a ‘cold V’ configuration, meaning that the turbo is mounted outside the vee corner of the engine which makes it easier to cool and service. Furthermore, the ‘cold V’ solution lowers mass and optimizes the car’s center of gravity. This solution, combined with a specially developed aero balance and attitude, has been identified as the most effective for achieving the best tire grip, perfect balance, rideability and consistent speed over both one lap and over long distance races.

Power from the engine and hybrid system, which is standard across all LMDh category cars, is limited by regulation to 500kW (680 CV). The Power Unit is managed by a Bosch electronic control unit. The LMDh rule set defines standard gearboxes, batteries, and motor-generator units (MGUs), which helps limit prototype development costs.

Under the skin, Lamborghini engineers have been able to exert their influence on all aspects of the car. While the gearbox is standard on all LMDh cars, there is still freedom to adapt it to brand requirements including gear ratio selection and mechanical differential slippage.

“Motorsport, for us, is also a valuable and challenging proving ground for our technology,” said Rouven Mohr, Chief Technical Officer of Lamborghini. “Our LMDh car, the Lamborghini SC63, is an interesting challenge from both a technical and a human standpoint. The development of our internal combustion engines, aerodynamically efficient bodywork and the overall technical package are processes that drive us to continuously raise our own standards. Now, it’s time to set the wheels, literally, on track to be ready and competitive for the 2024 season. As we develop our LMDh cars, we also keep an eye on technology transfer opportunities. We will take our learning experience from motorsport and apply it where possible to our future production cars.”

Lamborghini has chosen renowned Ligier experts as its partners to develop and build the monocoque. As the first manufacturer to select Ligier on the LMDh project, Lamborghini was left free to define its requirements, including developments in the design of the push-rod front suspension, overall weight distribution and serviceability of key parts of the car. The bell housing, which fills the gap between the rear of the engine and the front of the gearbox, positively affects torsional rigidity and has been designed to accommodate electric engines.

Another important aspect of development was the braking system, which had to provide the highest levels of performance and reliability in all conditions. Endurance racing puts a lot of pressure on the brakes and the first goal is to find a compromise between weight and durability, effective cooling and also a system that can accommodate a variety of riding styles. The bodywork has been designed by Lamborghini’s Centro Stile design department, in collaboration with the racing design team. It features very clear brand styling cues throughout the car, including the iconic y-shaped headlights at the front and rear.

“From the start, my personal brief for the design team was that the car had to be highly functional, but we wanted to create a car that was instantly recognizable as a Lamborghini,” said Mitja Borkert, Head of Lamborghini Design at Centro Stile. “The main recognition of the front and rear of the SC63 is driven by the y-shaped signature lights. Cabin size and the car’s main character are driven by sporting rules, but we’ve also implemented our own brand of styling cues throughout the car. Integrated into the body side panels, you can see the NACA ducts inspired by the Countach’s air intake. When you look at the rear wheel arches, we give the impression of acceleration towards the front, and this has to do with Lamborghini’s wheel arch design language which is also seen on the Revuelto.”

The cars will be clad in a familiar livery, befitting the branding seen on the Huracán GT3 challenger. The SC63 will be finished in Verde Mantis green, with black Nero Noctis strips over the cab, front hood, carbon diffuser, rear fins and wings. The cars will also feature the green, white, and red Italian Tricolore colors, and will carry the branding of Lamborghini’s longtime partner, Swiss watchmaker Roger Dubuis.

Cooling layouts for cars have defined a large part of engineering and design. For example, the air intakes to the sidepods aft of the cockpit underwent several iterations before the final design was finalized. The team has put in eight different radiators including two intercoolers, one gearbox radiator, one condenser for the air conditioner, one radiator for the Energy Recovery System (ERS), one for the Energy Storage System (ESS) and two water radiators.

One of the limitations of the regulations is that only one body kit configuration is allowed, and the changes teams are allowed to in that kit from race to race are limited. Therefore, the design team had to account for worst-case scenarios, such as high ambient temperatures, and manage the car’s thermal efficiency on the IMSA and WEC circuits.

The SC63 has been designed and developed to offer the widest possible ‘operating window’, to optimize performance while being able to maintain its tires on even the most aggressive track surfaces. Prior to track testing, intensive development work was carried out in cyberspace using the Driver in the Loop (DiL) simulator.

Further assistance came from factory Lamborghini drivers Mirko Bortolotti and Andrea Caldarelli, along with new drivers Daniil Kvyat and Romain Grosjean. The latter two have experience racing hybrids in recent Formula 1 and have been able to assist engineers to tune the LMDh system, in particular designing the steering wheel controls to allow the driver to control the required functions of the hybrid system.

“This year not only marks the 60th anniversary of our brand, but also the tenth anniversary of Squadra Corse, Lamborghini’s motorsport division,” said Giorgio Sanna, Head of Motorsport Lamborghini. “Over the last decade we have achieved great results. Starting from scratch, we have won some of the most prestigious endurance races in the GT category for our production-based race cars. This included three class wins at the Daytona 24hrs, and two straight wins at the Sebring 12hrs. Now we are ready for our biggest step into the future of motorsport, measuring ourselves against the best manufacturers in the world.”

Starting in 2024, one car will compete in the full FIA World Endurance Championship. The second car will race in the North American Endurance Championship race of the IMSA series. Team Iron Lynx, presented as partners at the 2022 Lamborghini Grand Final, will be driving cars in both series, and the driver line-up will include Bortolotti, Caldarelli, Grosjean and Kvyat. Another driver will be confirmed later in 2023.

Iron Lynx Principal and Team CEO, Andrea Piccini, said: “Being involved in such an ambitious project was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We are honored and very excited to be a part of it and start a new chapter of Iron Lynx with Lamborghini. It’s amazing to see it all finally come together for the SC63 reveal. Everyone at Iron Lynx is eager for testing to start. This is without a doubt one of the biggest challenges we have ever faced as a team, and we are now looking forward to seeing SC63 on the right track.”

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