On Wednesday morning, after months of speculation, Cadillac unveiled the new DPi-V.R. chassis, which will be their entry in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship starting at Daytona in 2017. The DPi-V.R. chassis is based on the new Dallara LMP2 chassis, one of the four legal 2017-spec LMP2 chassis. Three DPi-V.R.’s (two from Action Express Racing and one from Wayne Taylor Racing) will be on the grid for the full 2017 season.
For Cadillac, the insistence of manufacturer-specific bodywork was a big deal.
“The DPi-V.R race car was an exciting new canvas for the Cadillac design and sculpting team,” said Andrew Smith, Global Cadillac Design Executive Director. “The studio embraced the opportunity to interpret the Cadillac form language, line work and graphic signature for this premier prototype racing application.
Every detail of the final design was selected to support the car’s on-track performance and unmistakable Cadillac presence.”
On the DPi-V.R., the “Cadillac form language” is shown in the headlight design, what they describe as the “sheer, sculptural quality of the body,” cooling vents designed by the manufacturer, and even the wheels. The three DPi-V.R.’s will race with V-Performance wheels (as shown in the picture above), similar to what can be found on production Cadillac CTS-V’s. In addition, the DPi-V.R. will use the Rear Camera Mirror that is available on CTS, CT6, XT5 and Escalade models.
As compared to a number of other manufacturers that are moving toward smaller, turbocharged engines, the DPi-V.R. is an outlier. The DPi-V.R. chassis will be powered by a Cadillac-badged 6.2 liter naturally aspirated V8 engine from ECR Engines, guaranteeing that American-built grunt will stay in the Prototype class after the end of the Daytona Prototypes. According to Cadillac’s press release, the engine shares “inherent architecture” with the engines from the current generation Cadillac CTS-V and the Cadillac Escalade.
Even though the car has just been announced, it already has plenty of private on-track testing. Photos released by Cadillac show the DPi-V.R. on-track at Watkins Glen International. Recently, the car completed a 24-hour test at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
IMSA has an open test session scheduled for Dec. 14-15 at Daytona International Speedway. Expect at least one of the DPi-V.R.’s to make their public on-track debut there.