IMSA held a testing program at Daytona this week for teams to prep for next month's 24-hour season opener. It marked the first time all four new LMDh entries—Acura ARX-06, BMW M Hybrid V8, Cadillac V-LMDh, and Porsche 963—were on track at the same time, and it gave us a great look at these new machines. One key takeaway? The Cadillac sounds incredible.
We've known for a while that the Cadillac makes a great sound, but now, we have video of it pulling out of the pits and screaming around the Daytona tri-oval. What's especially cool is that the V-LMDh, like all LMDh cars, leaves its pit box driving on electric power only. Once it's up to speed, though, the V-8 fires up with an incredible blare. The sort, I imagine, you'd feel in your chest.
Acura is using a twin-turbo V-6 for its LMDh car, while BMW and Porsche use twin-turbo flat-plane V-8s. All sound good, but they pale in comparison to the Cadillac's bespoke DOHC cross-plane V-8. Running around the oval, the Cadillac sounds more like a NASCAR stocker than any modern prototype racer. It's glorious.
Michelin Racing has posted some great videos on its Twitter account highlighting sights and sounds of the other cars. The BMW and Porsche sound unsurprisingly similar, though the BMW seems to rev a bit higher—the limit for LMDh engines is 10,000 rpm—yet it's the Acura that makes the most intriguing noise. Off throttle, there's a percussive sound, which to my ears, sounds like some sort of anti-lag system to keep the turbos spooling.
While the Cadillac wins the sound contest hands down, all four LMDh cars look great. In just over a month, we'll know which wins the first real battle.
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