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Next year Porsche will relive its Le Mans glory days with a brand new LMP1 race car and a determined team of drivers and engineers, including Formula One ace Mark Webber. The new LMP1 is currently being put through its paces in test drives on international circuits, ahead of its race debut in the World Endurance Championship early next year, and this video shows the first roll-out that took place back in June.
Due to the focus on efficiency in the 2014 season of the World Endurance Championship, whose highlight is the 24 Hours of Le Mans, most of the LMP1 prototypes will feature hybrid technology, and Porsche’s car will be no different. With this in mind, the race engineers are actually facing the same challenge as their colleagues who work on development of Porsche’s road cars--how to boost performance while also reducing fuel consumption.
According to Porsche, the new LMP1 is being developed at the automaker’s R&D center in Weissach, with race engineers regularly comparing notes with their colleagues in the road car division. Few powertrain details are known, but a second video below suggests the new LMP1 might have diesel power. As World Car Fans points out, at 47 seconds into the video you can see an engine cover with the marking "TDFI", perhaps signifying a turbodiesel engine. Porsche is only saying it is developing more than one new engine for its Le Mans comeback.
Porsche, as most readers will know, is a veteran of Le Mans, having won overall at the legendary endurance race 16 times, the last back in 1998 with the 911 GT1 race car. For Porsche, the coming year will mark the start of a long-term commitment to both Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship.