Porsche has applied its latest hybrid technology to create a spectacular all-wheel-drive racing car, the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid. Due to bow in at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, the hybrid Porsche will race at the Nurburgring 24hrs in May 2010 as an experimental green race car.
Like all 911s, the hybrid GT3 R sports a traditional 4.0-liter 480 hp horizontally opposed six-cylinder mounted behind, and driving, the rear wheels. Unlike all 911s, however, it has electrically powered front wheels. Two electric motors live underneath the hybrid GT3’s nose; they are paired with a 40,000-rpm “electric flywheel power generator” mounted inside the cockpit. Surprisingly, there is no large battery pack (Porsche stated last year that current battery technology did not meet its “strict requirements”). The hybrid system can be used, at the driver’s discretion, to provide extra power or fuel efficiency on demand.
The end result? The GT3 R Hybrid now has all-wheel drive capability, and a significant power boost that can be activated with the push of a button to help accelerate out of turns, or while attempting to overtake fellow racers.
No official performance claims for the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid have been made prior to its unveiling in Geneva, but Porsche’s new purpose-built racing car with hybrid technology is expected to be prepared for the 2012 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, when the race’s regulations will favor hybrid racing cars. What is more Porsche has hinted that this unique technology might be adapted for a street version car in the near future.