While not winning the 24hr Le Mans in 1950, Cadillac did show off their bleeding edge innovation with "The Monster". This was a 5.4 Liter V8 Type 61 coupe that was specially designed prototype with multitubular space frame and aluminum body. The body built in collaboration with Grumman Aircraft with wind tunnel testing.
Check out more on "The Monster" here for how it drove and the lack of safety back in 1950 compared to today.
Specifications between the 1950 "The Monster" and the 2018 Cadillac DPi-V.R prototype:
1950 Cadillac Series 61, Le Mans "LeMonstre"
90-degree Cadillac V-8 engine with overhead valves, custom 5-carburator induction, 331 cubic-inch displacement, making 160 hp at 3,800 rpm.
2018 Cadillac DPi-V.R Prototype
Cadillac V-Performance V-8, stressed member, 580 horsepower at 7,050 rpm (approx.) IMSA mandated power level.
After 50 years of running a true Cadillac at 24hrs Le Mans, Cadillac returned in 2000 with another true Cadillac to show off the NorthStar LMP System.
2000 was also the start of Cadillacs return with the Arts and Science Style.
Since then Cadillac has been more of a contributor via sponsoring than focused on a full fledge true Cadillac engineered race car.
Now we have a return via the Cadillac V-Series! Winning technologies have been applied for decades from the race track to the performance V series of cars on the road today and Global VP Rory Harvey of Cadillac has stated that Cadillac looks forward to continuing the heritage of Cadillac by competing in a new exciting chapter at the highest level of international motorsport using the Cadillac LMDh-V.R prototype hybrid system designed to conform to IMSA and ACO Le Mans Daytona Hybrid Specifications for the new top tier class of endurance racing that replaces the current DPi class.
Based on a standardized chassis and incorporating the spec hybrid powertrain system that will feature a unique combustion engine with distinctive bodywork in a hybrid system for racing.
Cadillac as a contributor to the DPi-V.R is looking to expand and go beyond their years of racing with this new Cadillac Hybrid system.
Current DPi-V.R achievements:
- Winning the Rolex 24 at Daytona four times in a row: 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017
- Winning the Michelin North American Endurance Cup four times: 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017
- Winning the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship twice: 2018 and 2017
- Prior to competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Cadillac competed in the Pirelli World Challenge Championship, earning five Manufacturing Championships (2014, 2013, 2007, 2005), and five Driver’s Championships (2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2005).
To quote Cadillac press release: Cadillac’s commitment to performance is embodied in the V-Series portfolio. Its recent expansion includes the CT4-V and CT5-V sport sedans, as well as the track-capable CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing.
Cadillac has stated that they are partnering with Chip Ganassi Racing and Action Express Racing. The Cadillac LMDh will debut on the track for the first time at the Rolex 24 Hours @ Daytona January 2023 getting dialed in for the 24 Hours Le Mans later that same year.