In only its second year of competition, Porsche’s 919 Hybrid LMP1-spec race car not only took home top honors in the 24 Hours of Le Mans but also the title in the World Endurance Championship. This year will see the 919 Hybrid enter its third year of competition and this time it’s about defending the titles.

This week, Porsche for the first time ever showed off the innovative V-4 engine at the heart of its 919 Hybrid. The engine displaces just 2.0 liters and features a 90-degree configuration for compactness. A turbocharging system helps the engine develop in excess of 500 horsepower, but for the 2016 motorsport season the power is being dialed down a little in line with the regulations.

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Nevertheless, peak output of the 2016-spec 919 Hybrid will still be up around 900 horsepower thanks to the car’s electric motor, located at the front axle. The electric motor will rely on energy recovered from the brakes and exhaust gasses, which will be stored in a lithium-ion battery until needed.

According to Porsche, lessons learned in the development of the 919 Hybrid’s engine have benefited the new turbocharged four-cylinder units, with displacements of 2.0 and 2.5 liters, in the 718 Boxster sports cars. This goes, for example, for the interspace between the cylinders, the short stroke and the central direct fuel injection.

The 2016-spec 919 Hybrid’s first race will be the WEC season-opener at the Silverstone Circuit on April 17. Round three, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, will take place in June. There will be nine races all up this season thanks to the addition of Mexico City on the calendar.

Below is the complete calendar for the 2016 WEC:

6 Hours of Silverstone: April 17
6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps: May 7
24 Hours of Le Mans: June 18-19
6 Hours of Nürburgring: July 24
6 Hours of Mexico: September 3
6 Hours of Circuit of The Americas: September 17
6 Hours of Fuji: October 16
6 Hours of Shanghai: November 6
6 Hours of Bahrain: November 19


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