New Porsche Racers Debut In Geneva
GENEVA, Switzerland – The new Porsche 919 Hybrid, which will compete in the top class of the 2014 World Endurance Championship, has made its world premiere during the Geneva Int’l Motor Show.
The hybrid prototype will be joined by the Porsche 911 RSR at the Porsche exhibition in Geneva as well as at all eight races of the WEC, whose season highlight will be the 24 hours of Le Mans. Also at Geneva, the 911 Targa is making its European debut.
Porsche 919 Hybrid – The high efficiency of the Porsche 919 Hybrid is the result of a balanced overall concept. From the combustion engine to the energy recovery systems, suspension and chassis, aerodynamics and driver ergonomics, the sum of the components form an incredibly efficient unit for maximum performance.
The drive system is based on a 4-cylinder gasoline engine that is compact and lightweight. The 2.0 liter V-engine is a structural component of the chassis, and reaches a maximum engine speed of approximately 9,000 rpm. It features direct injection, a single turbocharger and thermodynamic recovery capabilities. The compact unit outputs around 500 hp.
“Crucial in the development of the Le Mans prototype were the newly created and revolutionary racing rules for this class as they relate to energy efficiency,” said Matthias Müller, Chairman of Porsche AG. “In 2014, it will not be the fastest car that wins the World Endurance Championship series and the 24 hours of Le Mans, rather it will be the car that goes the furthest with a defined amount of energy. And it is precisely this challenge that carmakers must overcome. The 919 Hybrid is our fastest mobile research laboratory and the most complex race car that Porsche has ever built.”
Two different energy recovery systems harness energy to replenish the batteries and provide power. The first system is the innovative recovery of thermal energy by an electric generator powered by exhaust gases. The second hybrid system is a motor on the front axle utilizing brake recuperation to convert kinetic energy into electric energy. The electric energy is then stored in water-cooled lithium-ion battery packs and when the driver needs the stored power, the front motor drives the two front wheels through a differential during acceleration. This gives the Porsche 919 Hybrid a temporary all-wheel drive system, because the gasoline engine directs power to the rear wheels, just like the 918 Spyder.
A new Porsche team of more than 200 employees was formed to develop and implement the development center in Weissach.
“Within two and one half years we built the infrastructure, assembled our team and put this highly complex race car on wheel,” said Friedrich Enzinger, Head of LMP1. “We have the greatest respect for the lead our competitors have in racing experience. Our objective in the first year is simple: to finish races and be competitive.”
Romain Dumas (France), Neel Jani (Switzerland) and Marc Lieb (Germany) will share driving duties in the Porsche 919 Hybrid with number 14. Car number 20 will be driven by Timo Bernhard (Germany), Brendon Hartley (New Zealand) and former Red Bull Formula One driver Mark Webber (Australia).
Porsche 911 RSR – The seventh generation of the 911 has consistently benefited directly from motorsport developments. The rear wheel drive 911 RSR features a lightweight design and refined aerodynamics for better lap times and better fuel efficiency.
In its first appearance at the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans the Porsche 911 RSR placed first and second in the GT-Class. The GT racer from Weissach has been further improved in many aspects for 2014 and it started the 2014 season with a class victory at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The 911 RSR is raced in the new TUDOR United Sports Car Championship as well as being part of the WEC World Sportscar Championship series, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The second Porsche factory team, Porsche Team Manthey, will compete with two 911 RSR race cars in WEC which begins in April. Drivers Jörg Bergmeister (Germany), Marco Holzer (Germany), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Patrick Pilet (France) will compete in seven world championship events with each event being six hour endurance race. Richard Lietz (Austria) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) will join them for the marathon in Le Mans.
“Porsche is kicking off 2014 with the most extensive motorsport program in the company’s history. We have a total of 20 factory drivers now,” said Hartmut Kristen, Head of Motorsports, and responsible for Porsche GT Motorsport and all customer sport programs. “Along with the factory teams in the WEC, there are two more factory 911 race cars that are being used by the Porsche Cars North America team in the new Tudor United Sports Car Championship series.” Kristen adds: “We have also put the RSR in the hands of customer teams for the first time.”
This year, Patrick Dempsey of Team Dempsey Racing Proton will be racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the third time.
Porsche 911 Targa – The new 911 Targa is making its European debut after its world premiere earlier this year at the North American Int’l Auto Show in Detroit. Just like the legendary original 911 Targa of 1965, the new models feature the distinctive Targa roof bar, a movable front roof section, and a wraparound rear window. But unlike the classic 911 Targa, the roof segment can be opened and closed at the push of a button. The fully automatic roof system stows the Targa top behind the rear seats.