Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid revealed ahead of Geneva Motor Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 28, 2010

Celebrating 110 years after Ferdinand Porsche developed the world's first car with hybrid drive, Porsche revealed today the 911 GT3 R, a new sports car with innovative hybrid drive that promises to open a new chapter in the history of the automaker.

The innovative hybrid technology installed in the new Porsche 911 GT3 R has been developed especially for racing (unofficially will come also on Porsche's street cars) and features an electrical front axle drive with two electric motors developing 60 kW each supplementing the 480-bhp four-litre flat-six engine.

Also, instead of the usual batteries in a hybrid road car, the vehicle features an electrical flywheel power generator fitted in the interior next to the driver that delivers energy to the electric motors.

For those who don't know, the flywheel generator itself is an electric motor with its rotor spinning at speeds of up to 40,000 rpm, storing energy mechanically as rotation energy.

This generator is charged whenever the driver applies the brakes. Then, whenever necessary, that is when accelerating out of a bend or when overtaking , this energy can be used from the charged flywheel generator.

This additional power is available after each charge process for approximately 6 - 8 seconds. This hybrid system can be used not only for extra power, but also for to save fuel.

The Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid will make its official debut at Geneva Motor Show in March and will be tested in the 24 Hours on the Nordschleife of Nurburgring on May 15th and 16th.

Press Release

Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid

A Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid with innovative hybrid drive will be unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, taking the evolution of the iconic sports coupe to new levels in motor sport and opening a new chapter in an illustrious racing record that has witnessed more than 20,000 victories in 45 years.

After its debut in Switzerland, the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid will be tested in long-distance races around the Nürburgring, Germany. The highlight of this test programme will be the 24 Hours race around the 14-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit on 15/16 May 2010. However, the focus is not on the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid winning the race but rather serving as a spearhead for the technology and a 'racing laboratory' that will provide invaluable knowledge and insight on the subsequent use of hybrid technology in road-going Porsche sports cars.

110 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 programme.

The hybrid technology featured in the Porsche 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-litre flat-six 'boxer' petrol engine at the rear of the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid. Consequently, the Porsche 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.

The flywheel generator itself is an electric motor - with its rotor capable of spinning at speeds of up to 40,000 rpm - and stores energy mechanically as rotation, or kinetic, energy. The flywheel generator is charged-up whenever the driver applies the brakes, with the two electric motors reversing their function on the front axle and acting themselves as generators.

The driver is able to call upon this extra energy from the charged flywheel generator at his command for competitive advantage, such as when accelerating out of a bend or overtaking. The flywheel generator is slowed down electromagnetically in the generator mode and able to supply up to 120 kW to the two electric motors at the front axle from its resource of kinetic energy. This additional power is available to the driver after each charge process for approximately 6 - 8 seconds.

Energy formerly converted into heat, and thus wasted, upon every application of the brakes is now converted highly efficiently into additional drive power.

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 Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, by reducing the weight of the fuel tank or making pit stops less frequent, for example.

Porsche Intelligent Performance

The Porsche 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 - on the race track and on the road. Already, customers can buy a Porsche 911 coupe with a six-cylinder 345 bhp engine which can return nearly 30mpg Combined and produces just 225 g/km CO2; a feat unrivalled in its performance class and just one example of the application of Porsche Intelligent Performance to maintain outstanding driving dynamics yet lower running costs and environmental impact.

Devising smart, individual engineering solutions to combine performance and efficiency with everyday usability is something for which Porsche is renowned, and is evident in such developments as lightweight body construction methods, Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) and the Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetreibe (PDK) double-clutch gearbox.

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