Porsche Reveals 919 Hybrid Engine
Porsche has, for the first time, released images of the turbocharged four-cylinder engine powering its Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid LMP1 race car. The engine has a capacity of just two-litres yet is the most efficient combustion engine Porsche has built so far, reinforcing the marque’s expertise with four-cylinder engines ahead of the launch of the 718 Boxster. Porsche claims it has learnt technological lessons during its LMP1 program which have directly translated to the 718, amongst them its short stroke and central direct fuel injection system.
The company entered the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2014 with the most innovative drivetrain on the grid. Its turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine sent drive to the rear axle, featured an exhaust energy recovery system, and the latest lithium-ion battery technology. Its energy storage and complex hybrid management system set new standards. In 2015 the engine and the car in which it resides saw huge success in only its second year of competition; clinching a one-two result at the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ World Endurance Championship titles. In celebration of the power unit’s successes, Porsche will put the engine on display at race events, exhibitions and at the Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen.
Drawing a comparison between its 919 racer and its new road cars is a connection Porsche will be keen to hammer home, but is there any likeness between the two engines? The 919’s four-cylinder mill is not a flat engine like the new 2.0- and 2.5-litre turbocharged engines in the 718 Boxster, it has a 90 degree V angle. And of course there’s a disparity when it comes to power outputs. However, development in the WEC series affords Porsche’s engineers a great degree of freedom in terms of the hybrid concepts that may be employed, and Porsche claims that this leads to innovations for its future production cars. It goes so far as to say that this link was actually the main reason behind its return to top-level motor racing.
Regulation changes for 2016 require WEC LMP1 cars to lower the amount of fuel and energy used per lap, this has forced a reduction in the fuel flow of all prototype cars. For Porsche’s race engine this will result in a loss of eight percent of fuel flowing through the engine, which translates to a loss of power, meaning the 2016 car will put out less than 500hp. Together with its electrical energy from the two onboard recovery systems (brake energy from the front axle and exhaust energy), which serve the electric motor on the front axle, the overall power of the Porsche 919 Hybrid will however still be near a staggering 900hp.
The 2016 WEC series has expanded its race calendar this year to include the new Mexico City circuit used by Formula One, this increases the season to nine races in nine different countries. With the exception of Le Mans, the races are six hours long and the field will be 32 cars divided into four classes.
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|