Cadillac is returning to endurance racing after a 14-year absence. Its slickly designed DPi-V.R race car is primed for what the company calls "America's fastest and most technologically advanced sports car competition." After a reveal today, the car will compete in the Prototype class of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, making its debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona next month.
International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) rules for DPi prototype cars require an ACO/FIA-homologated LMP2 chassis from one of four approved constructors: Dallara, Onroak Automotive, ORECA or Riley/Multimatic. Unlike ACO/FIA-homologated LMP2 cars, which use single-make engines and chassis constructor-specific bodywork, IMSA homologation allows for the bodywork and engine selection to be manufacturer-driven.
"For DPi cars, IMSA has defined specific areas of the bodywork regulations to allow manufacturers design and stylistic freedom to create recognition of their specific brands," the association explains on its website. "These areas include the nose and sidepod areas, rear-wheel arch and rear valance."
Cadillac takes advantage of this design freedom to highlight components and design elements from its production lineup, helping to give the V.R a striking, all-Caddy look, at first recognizable by the vertical headlamps up front. Cadillac also injects signature styling cues into the flanks and bolts on V-Performance wheels. The air intake is designed in the form of the Cadillac crest.
"The studio embraced the opportunity to interpret the Cadillac form language, line work and graphic signature for this premier prototype racing application," says Global Cadillac Design executive director Andrew Smith. "Every detail of the final design was selected to support the car's on-track performance and unmistakable Cadillac presence."
The DPi-V.R also borrows liberally from Cadillac's production line parts bin. The engine is based on the architecture of the CTS-V's 6.2-liter V8 and prepared for the race series. With the IMSA-mandated air restrictors, the naturally aspirated race-spec engine sends around 600 hp to the rear wheels via an X-TRAC paddle-shift transmission.
Cadillac prepared the DPi-V.R over the course of the past year with help from chassis builder Dallara, ECR Engines, and the teams that will race it, Wayne Taylor Racing and Action Express Racing. The car will open up the 2017 IMSA season with the Daytona debut on January 28-29, 2017.
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