BMW is weighing up its options for a fully-fledged assault on the Le Mans 24-Hour, according to reports out of Europe.
Speaking with the UK’s Autocar, BMW marketing boss Ian Robertson is said to have confirmed that a return to Le Mans is on the table, but the carmaker is yet to commit to the project.
The M6 GT3, unveiled last month, is believed to be BMW’s ‘toe-in-the-water’ for a Le Mans comeback, and Robertson said the car had the potential to compete.
BMW may also use the M6 GT3 as merely a warm-up exercise for Le Mans, with earlier reports pointing to a first-ever hydrogen-powered racer for the German carmaker to debut as the experimental ‘Garage 56’ entry in 2018.
But Robertson said BMW would be wary of playing around with a Garage 56 entry, preferring instead to go full-tilt at the Le Mans title.
Regardless of its success, a hydrogen-powered racer would introduce the public to the idea of a road-going fuel-cell model for BMW; believed to be targeted for a 2020 release date.
In that regard, BMW has already demonstrated its intentions via the hydrogen-powered 5 Series GT prototype unveiled earlier this year.
BMW tasted victory at Le Mans for the first and only time in 1999 with its V12-powered LMR racer built with the help of the Williams Formula 1 team.
Eight years earlier, Mazda created history by winning the event in the first car to be powered ‘without pistons’, and engineer Nobuhiro Yamamoto said earlier this year that he believes Mazda should have another crack at a rotary-powered Le Mans racer.
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