Porsche Reveals New 919 Hybrid for 2016
In two days time the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) gets underway with testing at Paul Ricard in France. Porsche is ready to defend its Manufacturer and Driver world titles…
Following a successful 2015, Porsche Motorsport has emerged with a new and improved version of its Le Mans-winning LMP1 919 Hybrid for the 2016 season. This is the third-generation of the car, which builds on what has gone before with evolutionary improvements to its powertrain and aerodynamics. There’s a new livery and fresh race numbers too. Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber will now race with the number one on their car, the sister Porsche of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb will carry the number two.
Porsche will field three different aerodynamic packages in 2016 (the maximum allowed), each tailored to certain race tracks. The two-litre four-cylinder V4 turbocharged petrol engine has been reduced in weight, its fuel consumption has also been improved. Likewise the two energy recovery systems of the hybrid drive have been improved in terms of efficiency. Developed in-house, the battery within the electric motor on the front axle has been ‘optimised’ (for 2016 all teams will follow Porsche’s lead using lithium-ion batteries), and it allows for an increased amount of set-up options too. The 919’s chassis and gearbox remains largely untouched, as does the hybrid drive concept with its two energy recovery systems (braking energy from the front axle and exhaust energy). A new front axle and an optimised rear axle appear on the 2016 car.
New 2016 regulations stipulate that a lower amount of energy from fuel per lap is used reducing the maximum fuel flow for prototypes. However, Porsche’s engineers are always attempting to generate more power using increasingly less fuel. The rule maker’s measure is designed to slow the cars, meaning Porsche’s 2016 contender’s combustion engine will not boast in-excess of 500hp like its 2015 forebear, yet in total the Hybrid car will still generate in the region of 900hp. For 2016 the 919 will actually use around eight per cent less fuel yet lose the same percentage in power, that will cost about four seconds in lap time for every 13.629-kilometre tour at Le Mans. For 2016 the 919 will start the season running a new high downforce package, it will tackle Le Mans in an extremely low downforce configuration, and will have another high downforce package for the following six WEC races. The regulations prohibit more than three aerodynamic configurations per year.
Following testing at Paul Ricard, the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship starts on 17th April with the first race at Silverstone.
2016 FIA WEC Calendar:
|17th April||Six hours of Silverstone, Great Britain|
|7th May||Six hours of Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium|
|18/19th June||24 hours of Le Mans, France|
|24th July||Six hours of Nürburgring, Germany|
|3rd Sept||Six hours of Mexico City, Mexico|
|17th Sept||Six hours of COTA, USA|
|16th Oct||Six hours of Fuji, Japan|
|6th Nov||Six hours of Shanghai, China|
|19th Nov||Six hours of Bahrain, Bahrain|