Matthias Müller, Chairman of Porsche AG: "Crucial in the development of the Le Mans prototype were the newly created and revolutionary racing rules for this class as they relate to energy efficiency.
In 2014, it will not be the fastest car that wins the World Endurance Championship series and the 24 hours of Le Mans, rather it will be the car that goes the furthest with a defined amount of energy. And it is precisely this challenge that carmakers must overcome. The 919 Hybrid is our fastest mobile research laboratory and the most complex race car that Porsche has ever built."
The exceptional efficiency of the Porsche 919 Hybrid is the result of a carefully balanced overall concept. The sum of all of its individual components forms an effective unit: from the combustion engine to the energy recovery systems, chassis and running gear, aerodynamics and driver ergonomics. The combustion engine is a compact V four-cylinder petrol engine that also serves as a load-bearing member in the chassis. It is a frontrunner of the future-oriented downsizing philosophy features two litres of engine displacement, direct fuel injection and mono-turbocharging, the engine that turns at speeds up to 9000 rpm. The compact engine outputs around 500 hp.
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In addition, the Le Mans prototype has two energy recovery systems. Fundamentally new here is a system that recovers thermal energy from exhaust gases via an electric generator driven by the exhaust gas stream. The second hybrid system has the functionality familiar from the 918 Spyder. Here, a generator on the front axle utilises braking phases to convert kinetic energy into electric energy. Lithium-ion batteries serve as the energy storage medium. When the driver needs this energy, an electric motor drives the front axle. This makes the 919 Hybrid an all-wheel drive vehicle temporarily.
A new Porsche team of over 200 employees was formed to develop and implement the Le Mans prototypes at the development centre in Weissach. Friedrich Enzinger, Head of LMP1: "Within two and one half years we built the infrastructure, assembled our team and put this highly complex race car on wheels. We have the greatest respect for the lead our competitors have in racing experience. Our objective in the first year is simple: to finish races and be competitive."
Romain Dumas (France), Neel Jani (Switzerland) and Marc Lieb (Germany) will share driving duties in the Porsche 919 Hybrid with starting number 14. Car number 20 will be driven by Timo Bernhard (Germany), Brendon Hartley (New Zealand) and Mark Webber (Australia).
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