Innovative hybrid race car completes three laps in the hands of an F1 driver at the Nurburgring
27 April 2010

The Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid has completed its first shakedown at the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit.

Williams F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg piloted the car, which uses Williams’ innovative flywheel KERS system.

The three-lap shakedown was Hulkenberg’s first drive in a hybrid car, as well as being his first laps of the Nurburgring in a non-single-seat racing car.

See the pics of the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid in action

"Great car, fascinating technology and an incomparable track," he said. "Surprisingly, in the slow corners, the 911 is not far off a Formula 1 car. The mechanical grip is impressive."

The flywheel spins at 40,000rpm and stores energy mechanically as kinetic energy. The flywheel generator is charged up when the brakes are applied, with the electric motors that power the front wheels reversing their function and acting themselves as generators.

The driver is able to call on this electric power at certain opportunities to aid acceleration, overtaking or with defensive driving. This power is available for six to eight seconds after a full recharge.

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Porsche 911

A sublime all-purpose sports car that few others can match for its combination of power, handling prowess and interior refinement

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The hybrid drive can also be used to save fuel, which makes the car ideally suited to endurance racing. Powering the rear wheels is a 473bhp 4.0-litre flat-six engine.

The car will make its racing debut in the Nurburgring 24 Hours next month.

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Our Verdict

Porsche 911

A sublime all-purpose sports car that few others can match for its combination of power, handling prowess and interior refinement

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week