Porsche ups the motorsports game with the official world premiere of its LMP1 contender, the 919 Hybrid model. So… the German brand is finally making its long-awaited return to Le Mans after 16 years.
Just like the name suggests, 919 is equipped with a hybrid powertrain, while the exterior styling follows no design line – being the sole slave of aerodynamics – as Porsche revealed the model spent 2,000 hours testing in the wind tunnel. It would make its competition debut this June at Le Mans with drivers Mark Webber, Neel Jani, Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas along with works drivers Marc Lieb and Brendon Hartley behind the wheel.
The hybrid system is newly developed and in full compliance with current LMP1 rules which stress the engine should weigh at least 870 kg (1,918 lbs) and have maximum dimensions of 4,650 mm in length, up to 1,900 mm in width and a 1,050 mm height.
A new single-turbo V4 2.0-liter direct-injection gasoline engine drives the rear wheels and is mated to a front mounted electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack – together offering temporary AWD when needed. No performance figures have been given, other than the fact that 919 also uses a boost function thanks to the addition of two energy recovery systems – a brake energy recuperation and a thermal energy recovery system incorporated in the exhaust, together providing eight mega joule /lap.