2014 Porsche 919 hybrid Le Mans prototype race car launch
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Next year will see the introduction of completely new rules for the World Endurance Championship and the series’ highlight, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The central theme is a focus on efficiency, which is designed to push participants to develop new technologies that can eventually filter across to the cars of tomorrow.
The regulations require teams to run hybrid vehicles in the premier LMP1 category, although top contenders Audi and Toyota have done so in previous years. The rules also limit the amount of fuel as well as the electrical energy, or so-called boost, available to the driver per lap.
In the video above, Porsche outlines these challenges and how it plans to address them using its 919 Hybrid race car.
As previously reported, the drivetrain of the 919 Hybrid consists of a four-cylinder gasoline engine with direct injection and two energy recovery systems. The recovered energy is stored in a battery until retrieved by the driver, whereby the energy is directed to an electric motor that provides additional drive to the front axle. This creates a through-the-road all-wheel-drive system similar to what’s featured in Porsche’s road-going 918 Spyder.
Porsche plans to field two cars in the 2014 WEC's LMP1 category, with the driver lineup including Brendon Hartley, Marc Lieb, Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Mark Webber.