It seems that practically every automaker is finally getting on board with green technology, including those in the racing circuits. The 2014 Le Mans endurance race will be no different, which will welcome a Porsche Hybrid into the races.
From the 1970s through the 1990s, Porsche had so dominated the world-famous endurance race, The 24 Hours of Le Mans, that it almost seemed as if there was no reason to race it anymore. Porsche, widely considered to be the best racer of all time, quietly retired in 1998 to focus on other things. Audi continued to participate in the races and, since 2000, has won 12 of the last 14, which means it’s time for Porsche to come back and show Audi, and the rest of the field, who’s boss, this time with a Porsche Hybrid.
The new Porsche Hybrid 919 was recently unveiled, to be powered by a 2.0ℓ turbocharged gasoline engine, as well as a dual-hybrid system for regenerative braking and low-end accelerating torque. This won’t be the only hybrid supercar to take to the track, and will likely include the existing Audi E-Tron R18 turbodiesel hybrid, the Toyota TS030 supercapacitor hybrid, and maybe something from Nissan?
Of course, a Porsche Hybrid entering the Le Mans endurance race isn’t just about winning, but it also gives manufacturers a chance to tweak their hybrid technology under some of the most demanding conditions that a hybrid vehicle can endure. The average speed of the 2010 Le Mans winner, for example, was 140mph over a time period of 24 hours, covering some 3,362 miles. If the Porsche Hybrid 919 expects to win the 2104 Le Mans, its hybrid system has to put up with a lot of abuse. Making the daily run from the office to the gym in the Porsche 918 Hybrid will be child’s play, by comparison.