Green racing fans rejoice! Porsche has just unveiled its 911 GT3 R Hybrid, a 480 horsepower track vehicle ready to rock the 24-hour Nurburgring race this May. Porsche’s latest supercar will use the same 911 production platform available to consumers today, with a few race-ready features including front-wheel hybrid drive and an innovative flywheel system that stores kinetic energy from braking and then uses it to provide a 160 horsepower burst of speed.
Set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show this March, Porsche’s 911 GT3 R Hybrid will be supercharged for LeMans-style endurance racing. The vehicle features two electric motors that power the front wheels in addition to a 480hp gas engine that drives the rear wheels. The hybrid system stands to offer significant fuel savings, reducing the need for pit stops and cutting down on the vehicle’s weight.
Rather than relying upon heavy lithium-ion batteries, the high-performance vehicle has a flywheel generator mounted in its passenger seat that can spin at up to 40,000 rpm. This generator stores energy each time the vehicle brakes, and then for 6-8 seconds afterward the driver can release a 160hp boost by tapping a button on the steering wheel. The setup is sure to offer an advantage when powering out of turns and passing other racers.
Porsche is developing the vehicle as a “racing lab” to try out new technology, so there’s no plans for street legal production as of yet. Rather, “The intent is to provide hands-on know-how for the subsequent use of hybrid technology in road-going sports cars.”