Geneva Preview: 911 GT3 R Hybrid

This is a hybrid version of a racing 911 which features two electric motors driving the front wheels, in addition to a conventional 4.0-litre, 480bhp flat-six/rear-wheel drive configuration in the back. The car will be launched at Geneva and make its racing debut in Nürburgring long-distance events, including the 24 Hours meeting on May 15-16 2010.

Instead of batteries, the two 60kW electric motors use energy obtained from braking as a power source. A ‘flywheel generator’, with a rotor spinning at speeds of up to 40,000rpm, allows the motors to convert the ‘wasted’ heat energy of braking into stored energy for brief bursts of power under acceleration.

In effect, the motors double as both generator and power source.

On the face of it, it would appear to be similar to the ill-fated ‘KERS’ system in Formula One. The flywheel is located next to the driver for optimum weight distribution. As a result of the new system saving energy, the ‘rolling laboratory’ will be more fuel efficient, too – vital in a 24-hour race.

The company is playing down the chances of the new car scoring an overall victory at the 'Ring in May, however.

Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Porsche

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