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Geneva Auto Show 2014: Porsche 919 Hybrid Le Mans challenger unveiled

Team OD  /
04 Mar 2014

Ever since Porsche announced Mission 2014, their comeback to racing in the LMP1 category of Le Mans, the motorsport world had been waiting with baited breath for a proper glimpse of the racecar. Finally it's here! Porsche unveiled the 919 Hybrid Le Mans challenger to the world at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, and while the livery we see on this one isn't nearly as stunning as some of Porsche's past Le Mans liveries, the car still looks quite menacing. The aerial view of the car that spells out a part of  Porsche Intelligent Performance" is a very neat touch.

919 Hybrid

So what do you need to know about the Porsche 919 Hybrid  Well, to begin with let's talk about the engine. The car comes powered by a 2.0-litre V4 (yes, that's right it's a V4) petrol engine. The fact that it would be a small capacity petrol engine, OVERDRIVE revealed to you in October 2013. The one detail that we didn't get right though was that this engine would be turbocharged. The direct-injection, monoturbo engine puts out 500PS of power and revs to 9000 rpm.

Aerial view spells "Porsche Intelligent Performance" - nice touch though the livery is a little dullAerial view spells "Porsche Intelligent Performance" - nice touch though the livery is a little dull

Of course, rules stipulate that all manufacturer team competing in the 2014 World Endurance Championship need to have a hybrid component. The 919's energy recovery system is two-fold. One system recovers thermal energy from the exhaust gases as they pass through an electric generator. The other system uses energy recovered from the braking system. This energy is stored in a Lithium Ion battery and is made available to a driver via an electric motor that drives the front axle, making the Porsche 919 temporarily all wheel drive.

2.0-litre turbocharged V4 petrol engine, with two hybrid systems to boot, power the 919 RSR2.0-litre turbocharged V4 petrol engine, with two hybrid systems to boot, power the 919 RSR

The development time for the Porsche 919 Hybrid wasn't too long, with the entire project taking being executed over a two-year period. Friedrich Enzinger, head of Porsche's LMP1 project, declares that the company's objective in their first year back after a 16-year hiatus from Le Mans, is to just finish races and be competitive. Defending their record of 16 Le Mans victories, and preventing sister company Audi from taking away their crown, will come next.

Porsche make their LMP1 comeback after 16 years away from the classPorsche make their LMP1 comeback after 16 years away from the class

The Number 14 Porsche 919 will be piloted in the World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans by Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb, while the Number 20 Porsche 919 will be piloted by Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley.

Porsche 911 RSR also unveiled
The Porsche 911 RSR made quite an impact on its Le Mans debut last year, taking the top two spots in its class at the legendary Circuit de la Sarthe. Now the 470 PS 911 RSR prototype that has been unveiled is all set to compete in the iconic 24 hour race again.

The 911 RSR will compete in the GT class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2014 as well as the World Endurance ChampionshipThe 911 RSR will compete in the GT class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2014 as well as the World Endurance Championship

Porsche will field two teams in the GT class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. One car, driven by Marco Holzer , Fr d ric Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet will contest all seven rounds of the World Endurance Championship. The second car driven by Richard Lietz and Nick Tandy will join them for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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