Pictures of the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid
Hybrid Porsche Hits Racing Circuit
Porsche's planned unveiling of a Porsche 911 GT3 R hybrid racecar at the Geneva Motor Show has major implications in the supercar world. For one thing, Porsche has called the car a racing laboratory that will provide them knowledge for use of hybrid technology in road-going cars. Since the racing version of the 911 will be the test mule for Porsche, logic should tell us that the 911 will be the first road car that Porsche will try to sell with a hybrid option.
The Porsche 911 GT3 R hybrid
The racing version of the GT3 hybrid will have a flat six engine pumping out over 470 horsepower to the rear wheels and an electric motor powering each of the front wheels. In effect, this is a four wheel drive car with a total of 3 power plants: 2 electric and 1 gasoline.
The electric motors are powered by a flywheel generator, which are charged during the braking process. The power will not switch from gasoline to electric. Instead, it will be gasoline full-time with short bursts of power from the electric motors when the driver requires it. I would imagine this part of the system will be tweaked for the road-going version of the car, as the "electric bursts" would be less beneficial in a non-race situation.
As with most hybrids, fuel efficiency is one of the reasons for development. Porsche hopes this hybrid will be more fuel efficient, and they'll test that with its first race this May: the Nurburgring 24 Hour Race. Porsche does not plan on winning the race despite the possible fuel advantage, but they do plan on learning a lot about how the car can perform under stressful conditions for an extended period of time.
There has been no word yet on when Porsche plans on releasing a 911 hybrid for the general public, but these recent developments have many speculating an announcement could be coming in the very near future.