Porsche has begun testing its 2014 World Endurance Championship contender, the 919 Hybrid, at the Paul Ricard circuit in France today.
The car was unveiled to the public at the Geneva motor show in March, but this marks its first time on track in its racing colours.
Porsche's new petrol-electric hybrid-powered prototype has been constructed to the latest LMP1 regulations, which stipulate the car must not exceed 4650mm in length, 1900mm in width and 1050mm in height and weigh no less than 870kg.
Described as the most complex Porsche race car ever, the 919 Hybrid is powered by a newly developed single-turbo 2.0-litre V4 direct-injection petrol engine that forms a load-bearing function within the chassis. It is claimed to rev to 9000rpm and drives the rear wheels.
The combustion engine is supported by an electric motor mounted within the front axle that uses lithium-ion batteries. The electric motor provides drive to the front wheels when activated, giving the 919 Hybrid temporary four-wheel-drive capability.