Currently reading: Porsche 919 Hybrid Le Mans racer - first pictures
Hybrid LMP1 car, described as the most complex Porsche race car to date, takes to the track for the first time in its racing livery

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.

Porsche’s latest race car, which will return the company to the premiere class of the Le Mans 24 Hour race in June, boasts two different energy recovery systems, including brake energy recuperation and an innovative thermal energy recovery system housed within the exhaust system.

Porsche’s engineers have developed the 919 Hybrid with an eight-Megajoule-per-lap energy recovery boost function, the highest figure permitted under the latest LMP1 regulations, which grant a maximum fuel allowance of 4.64 litres per lap.

Porsche claims the 919 Hybrid has undergone over 2000 hours of wind tunnel testing both at the company’s new wind tunnel facility in Weissach and at the University of Stuttgart.

Among the drivers assembled by Porsche for its two-strong 919 Hybrid assault on the 2014 World Endurance Championship is former Red Bull F1 driver, Mark Webber. The 37-year-old Australian will be partnered in one car by 24-year-old New Zealander Brendon Hartley and 33-year-old German Timo Bernhard.

The second car will be piloted by 33-year-old German Marc Lieb together with 36-year-old French ace Romain Dumas and 30-year-old Swiss driver Neel Jani.

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jmd67 28 March 2014

I have lusted after the 917

I have lusted after the 917 for most of my life. This may be clever, sorry it's Porsche, this WILL be clever, it will be fast and will win. But by jove it's just about the ugliest thing I've ever seen. My eyes are actually hurting looking at the thing. Yuk...
Paul J 28 March 2014

We have similar eyesight

We have similar eyesight jmd67, and yours is indeed at least 20-20.


Lanehogger 28 March 2014

What about the 986bhp Toyota?

Never mind the 919 which was unveiled some weeks ago now, what about the rival Toyota TS040, unveiled this week. That car, also a hybrid, produces 986bhp which seems substantially more than what the 919 and R18 can muster.
Paul J 28 March 2014

Porsche 919

It had better be quick as it's no looker. In fact the sooner it's out of sight the better. I say this as a long time Porsche owner too!