One of our first throwback articles looked at one of the most iconic races in history - the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With the 85th run of the race coming up this weekend, it only makes sense that we talk about Porsche’s effort in last year’s iconic race. Porsche made a return to Le Mans in 2014 with a new project - the Porsche 919, which is the center of today’s article.
Why name a model the 919? As a reference to the earlier Porsche Le Man’s race car the 917. This, combined with the hybrid supercar the Porsche 918; 919 was the next logical step. The Porsche 919 Hybrid uses a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged engine running petrol with two energy recovery systems in place. Weighing in at the regulation minimum of 875 kg and producing a maximum of 900hp, the 919 has a 0-100 km/h capability of 2.2 seconds. Utilizing a lithium-ion hybrid battery system, the 919 can store up to 1.7 kwhs of energy per lap.
This technology translates into the road car hybrid model found on the Panamera and Cayenne models. The Macan also uses a tamer 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder turbo engine as its power plant, which goes to show how Porsche uses their motorsport technology advancements in everyday production vehicles.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is, as the title would suggest, a 24 hour race. This means that the vehicles are racing for 24 straight hours. In 2016, Porsche was recorded completing 5233.53 km of straight driving swapped between 3 different drivers. This should be taken as a testament to Porsches’ durability as a vehicle. It takes a high-quality vehicle to run this long, at its full capacity, for such a long distance. Tweaks to the 2017 chassis include new aerodynamics from previous seasons, ultimately to comply with FIA regulations. Also notable are the advancements in the technology regarding the energy recovery system which utilizes the cars braking system. We can assume that Porsche has made some further alterations that would not be released as public knowledge for competition sake. Ultimately, the 2017 Le Mans is going to be a thriller to watch.
Stepping into the 2017, 85th running of Le Mans, Porsche is defending their title for the third year in a row. They claimed victories in both 2015 and 2016 with the 919 Hybrid. Porsche’s focus for the 919 program is competition in the LMP1 category. This category of motorsport holds similar technology levels to Formula 1 but with a more practical application for daily drivers. LMP1 is one of the most fascinating categories of motorsport to watch as you can catch a peak into the car technology into the future.
Date Posted: June 15, 2017