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Country of origin:Germany
Produced in:2015
Internal name:9R9
Engine type:Hybrid
Predecessor:Porsche 919 hybrid
Successor:Porsche 919 Hybrid
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:June 15, 2015
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Click here to download printer friendly versionIn 2014, Porsche turned to top level sports car racing for the first time since scoring the company's 16th outright victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans back in 1998. The German manufacturer used the highly sophisticated 919 Hybrid, which featured a mid-mounted, turbocharged V4 engine and a powerful electric motor on the front axle. The car was quick straight out of the box but reliability woes meant a breakthrough victory was not scored until the final round of that year's FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

Applying the lessons learned in the 919's debut season, the Porsche engineers created a substantially developed evolution for the 2015 season. While the 919 type name was retained, the new-for-2015 car featured as many as 90% redesigned parts. Much of the work focused on improving the aerodynamic efficiency, resulting in a completely new external design. The original 919's excessive mass was also addressed. The work paid off as the second generation 919 Hybrid tipped the scales at the 870 kg weight minimum.

What was carried over from the original design was the sophisticated hybrid drivetrain. At its core was a two-litre, turbocharged, V4 petrol engine. Kinetic energy was recovered by an electric motor on the front axle, while the exhaust gasses were used to generate energy as well. This generated electricity was stored in a lithium-ion battery. What did change for 2015 was that Porsche stepped to the maximum, 8MJ storage class. At full pelt, the combined output of the engine and motor should be in excess of 1,000 bhp.

Once again racing against Audi and Toyota, the new 919 Hybrid proved easily the quickest car in the field from the first test. However, pole positions for the opening rounds at Silverstone and Spa could not be converted into victories. The speed advantage also showed at Le Mans where Porsche qualified first, second and third for the first time since 1988. Audi, in particular, was much closer pace-wise during the race but a trouble free run, and superior pace during the night ensured Porsche claimed the company's 17th overall win with the #19 finishing ahead of the #17 to make a one-two win.

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  Article Image gallery (44) Specifications