Porsche will unveil this new hybrid racing car in the metal at the Geneva Motor Show next month. The 911 GT3 R Hybrid is a one-off special designed to help develop and promote Porsche's hybrid technology efforts, and the tech being used here is destined to end up in Porsche road cars.
The GT3 R Hybrid uses kinetic energy stored up from braking, in a similar way to F1 'KERS' systems. The normally wasted energy instead goes to two 60KW electric motors on the front axle which act as generators, able to then redeploy that energy in six to eight second bursts.
But the innovative thing about this car is the way that it stores its power. Rather than lugging about heavy batteries, a flywheel sits in place of a passenger seat. The wheel can spin at up to 40,000 rpm.
There are no official figures for the amount of extra power the electrical gubbins provides, but with the same 480bhp NA flat-six found in the normal 997 GT3 R as a starting point this is not going to be sluggish.
Porsche boasts that this type of hybrid tech is a real advantage in racing, as it allows them to either run with a smaller fuel tank and save weight, or to run for longer using the existing fuel tank. Presumably with range in mind, Porsche is testing out the new car later this year at the Nürburgring 24 hours race (15-16 May) after its Geneva debut.
This comes just a month after Porsche's CEO Michael Macht declared that Porsche did not see hybrid cars as a part of its future. However this is not the contradiction it may seem, as Macht did make clear that Porsche was interested in regenerative braking and efficiency. So whilst you're still unlikely to see a Prius-style Porker running on full electric power at low speeds any time soon, an energy-recovering power-boosting hybrid road car is looking to be a pretty safe bet.
As you might expect, our savvy Porsche forum picked this story up this morning, so we've linked that thread to the 'Comment on this story' link below.
Hybrid is based on 2010 GT3 R
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Stuttgart. Exactly 110 years after Ferdinand Porsche developed the world’s first car with hybrid drive, the Lohner Porsche Semper Vivus, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, is once again taking up this visionary drive concept in production-based GT racing: During the Geneva Motor Show, a Porsche 911 GT3 R with innovative hybrid drive is making its debut, opening up a new chapter in the history of Porsche with more than 20,000 wins in 45 years scored by the extremely successful Porsche 911 in racing trim.
The innovative hybrid technology featured in the car has been developed especially for racing, standing out significantly in its configuration and components from conventional hybrid systems. In this case, electrical front axle drive with two electric motors developing 60 kW each supplements the 480-bhp four-litre flat-six at the rear of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid. A further significant point is that instead of the usual batteries in a hybrid road car, an electrical flywheel power generator fitted in the interior next to the driver delivers energy to the electric motors.
The flywheel generator itself is an electric motor with its rotor spinning at speeds of up to 40,000 rpm, storing energy mechanically as rotation energy. The flywheel generator is charged whenever the driver applies the brakes, with the two electric motors reversing their function on the front axle and acting themselves as generators. Then, whenever necessary, that is when accelerating out of a bend or when overtaking, the driver is able to call up extra energy from the charged flywheel generator, the flywheel being slowed down electromagnetically in the generator mode and thus supplying up to 120 kW to the two electric motors at the front from its kinetic energy. This additional power is available to the driver after each charge process for approximately 6 - 8 seconds.
Energy formerly converted – and thus wasted – into heat upon every application of the brakes, is now highly efficiently converted into additional drive power.
Depending on racing conditions, hybrid drive is used in this case not only for extra power, but also to save fuel. This again increases the efficiency and, accordingly, the performance of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid, for example by reducing the weight of the tank or making pitstops less frequent.
After its debut in Geneva the 911 GT3 R Hybrid will be tested in long-distance races on the Nürburgring. The highlight of this test programme will be the 24 Hours on the Nordschleife of Nürburgring on May 15th and 16th. The focus is not on the 911 GT3 R Hybrid winning the race, but rather serving as a spearhead in technology and a “racing laboratory” providing know-how on the subsequent use of hybrid technology in road-going sports cars.
The 911 GT3 R Hybrid is a perfect example of the Porsche Intelligent Performance philosophy, a principle to be found in every Porsche: More power on less fuel, more efficiency and lower CO2 emissions – on the track and on the road.
Edited by Joe911 on Thursday 11th February 09:32
Dr S11 Feb 2010
OMG... why do I love 911s best when they are race cars?
Joe91112 Feb 2010
Dr S said:
OMG... why do I love 911s best when they are race cars?
Because you are only human?
timmo12 Feb 2010
they could win the race - with less fuel stops
SimonSaid12 Feb 2010
Looks like the OP got the same press release we did! News story coming to the front page shortly, keep your eyes peeled!