Porsche has officially revealed its LMP1 contender -- the 919 Hybrid. Through this model, Porsche hopes to defend not just its title in the FIA World Endurance Championship but that of the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well. Though this model only unveiled during Friday’s WEC Prologue test at Monza, it did not come as a surprise to many as photos of the 919 Hybrid came out at Paul Ricard race track.
Like the other vehicles that will be part of this competition, it will be displaying low-downforce specifications for the two-day test at Monza. The brand however continues to keep under wraps what aero kit the 9191 Hybrid will be utilizing.
Though it will continue to make use of the same chassis, its third year in a row, Andrea Seidl, which is the team principal, assures that performance will not be impacted negatively. He adds that around 60% to 70% of the vehicle is in fact new.
Powering this newest version is the revised gas-powered 2.0-liter V4 engine. A combustion engine that Porsche boasts is the most efficient to come out of the brand. Like Toyota’s racing car a.k.a. the TS050 Hybrid, the engine of the 919 Hybrid will be paired to an 8-megajoule electric motor.
Seidl continued by stating that the 919 Hybrid makes use of the notion wherein finer details are optimized with efficiency being improved even higher. He added that while the monocoque is the same as that of the race car in 2016, the brand made sure to look into optimizing the potential of all the other parts, even making the necessary adjustments when needed.
When it comes to the lineup of its drivers, Porsche revealed that a reshuffle has been implemented. For example, though Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas had managed to give Porsche the title back in 2016, the two have been removed from the roster. Neel Jani though is still there and will be behind the wheel of the #1 car. Joining him will be Andre Lotterer, formerly of Audi, and Nick Tandy, champion of the 2015 Le Mans. For the #2 car, it will have the 2015 Le Mans team composed of Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard, and Earl Bamber, who replaces Mark Webber.
The 919 Hybrid takes its name from the 917 race car during the 1970s and the 918 street car, which Porsche unveiled in 2013.
This program was first announced by Porsche in 2012 with the 919 Hybrid making its first official race in 2014 at the 6 Hours of Silverstone. For the 2014 season, it garnered an overall 3rd place position. Porsche made some changes for the 2015 season which included lowering the weight. It won the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year and the five next races to give it the top overall rank. Porsche repeated this feat for the 2016 season.