The Evolution of the Iconic Sports Coupe110 years since Ferdinand Porsche – the company's founder, developed the world's first car with hybrid drive, the Lohner Porsche Semper Vivus, it is entirely appropriate that Porsche is once again employing this visionary drive concept in a production car-based GT racing program.
The Porsche 911 GT3 R infused with the innovative hybrid drive will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this March, taking the evolution of the iconic sports coupe to new levels in motor sport. After its debut in Switzerland, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid will be tested in long-distance races around the Nürburgring, Germany, the highlight of this will be the 24 Hours race around the 14-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit on May 15/16. However, the focus is not on the 911 GT3 R Hybrid claiming a podium spot but rather serving as a spearhead for the technology and a 'racing laboratory' that will provide invaluable knowledge and insight on the use of hybrid technology in road-going Porsche sports cars.
The hybrid technology featured in the 911 GT3 R Hybrid has been developed especially for racing, and is set apart from conventional hybrid systems in its configuration and choice of components. Uniquely, an electrical front axle drive with two electric motors each developing 60 kW supplements the familiar 480 hp (353 kW) four-liter flat-six 'boxer' petrol engine at the rear of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid. Consequently, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid has four driven wheels, offering even greater traction and agility.
A further significant point is that instead of the usual batteries of a conventional hybrid-powered road car, this 911 features an electric flywheel power generator, mounted inside the cockpit beside the driver, that delivers energy to the electric motors on the front axle.
Depending on racing conditions, hybrid drive is used in this case not only for extra power, but also to save fuel. This again increases the efficiency and, accordingly, the performance of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid, by reducing the weight of the fuel tank or making pit stops less frequent.
The 911 GT3 R Hybrid is a perfect example of the Porsche Intelligent Performance philosophy, a principle to be found in every Porsche and defined as more power on less fuel, more efficiency and lower CO2 emissions both on the race track and on the road.