Just How Incredible is the Porsche 919 Hybrid?
To put it bluntly – quite incredible. With only two weeks before the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Porsche has been exercising its engineering minds and statistic-posting fingers. The Internet is very impressed. This year’s regulations restrict each car’s electrical energy usage per lap at Le Mans by four categories, ranging from two to eight megajoules. Porsche’s 919 Hybrid is slotted in the six-megajoule category, meaning that – after lots of calculations – Stuttgart’s LMP1 generates and uses 581.2-kWh of energy during its (roughly) 348-lap race distance.
In slightly more usable terms, the energy that the Porsche 919 recoups over 24 hours on the Circuit de la Sarthe could power a Volkswagen e-Golf for an astonishing 2,843 miles, or as Porsche put it themselves – from New York to Los Angeles.
The performance comes courtesy of the 919 Hybrid’s advanced energy recuperation system, which pulls both thermal and kinetic energy over the course of the race, a trait not shared by Audi or Toyota. Having a 2.0-liter V4 turbo engine that delivers over 500-horsepower is a plus side too.
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Mash on the brakes and the front axle translates that friction back to the lithium-ion battery pack. Keep your foot to the floor and the 919 utilizes excess energy from the exhaust gasses to drive a second turbine, (in addition to its turbocharger) which in turn generates electrical energy.
Porsche will need all of that technology if the team hopes to mount an attack against Toyota. The TS040 Hybrid took the top two spots at the 6 Hours of Silverstone and a first and second place finish at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
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