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Getting ready for its triumphant return to the premier racing class of Le Mans, Porsche has released a handful of images showing its new LMP1 racecar testing. Porsche hasn't run a car in the Prototype class at 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2009, but this racecar - still veiled in secrecy - will be expected to battle against the Audi and Toyota LMP1 Prototypes to help bring Porsche its 17th Le Mans victory.
Aside from knowing that it will use a hybrid powertrain to meet LMP1 rules, there are no other details about the car... including its name or potential sponsors. In the meantime, Porsche has set up a microsite, called Mission 2014, to share its extensive history racing at Le Mans. Also, be sure to check out some of the past videos Porsche has released as it gears up for its reborn LMP1 program.
The fiftieth anniversary of the Porsche 911 has been a nearly year-long affair, with unique tributes and even a special anniversary edition with plenty of retro throwbacks. The party is expected to continue through the end of 2013, and if one 911 enthusiast forum is right, we'll see yet another special edition model near the anniversary of the original car's September 1963 debut, when it arrives at next month's Frankfurt Auto Show.
It's called the 911 Blu, and where the 911 50 Years Edition was more expensive than a 911 Carrera S hardtop, the Blu would be an entry level special edition. That's right, a limited run car that actually slots in at the very bottom of the 911 range. According to Porsche forum 911UK.com, the new car would be priced at 74,600 euros ($98,718 at today's rates) or 64,750 pounds. That undercuts the price of a base 911 in Germany by nearly 16,000 euros and in the UK by nearly 8700 pounds (although to be fair, it's roughly identical to the price of a base 911 C2S in the US).
This 911 will reportedly feature a detuned flat-six with 300 horsepower and 211 pound-feet of torque.
There is a long-running argument among performance car fans: power vs. weight. In one corner you get cars generally with small engines making modest numbers but able to corner like they are telepathic, and in the other there are big thumping mills that are rocketships in a straight line but lumber in the turns. Autocar takes an interesting look this continuum in a recent video pitting a 552-hp Porsche 911 Turbo S against a 185-hp Formula 4 racecar. It hopes to find whether the Porsche's huge power advantage is enough to defeat the better grip and aero offered by the nimble racer.
There's no doubt that the Porsche is an utterly fantastic road car. The 911 Turbo looks mean with all of those intakes to suck in cool air, and it backs up the posture with huge amounts of grip available thanks to its all-wheel drive-system. However, at 3,538 pounds, it's a bit of a porker compared to the 1,135-pound Formula 4 car. The open-wheel car boasts just a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder from Ford and a six-speed sequential-manual gearbox, but it has loads of downforce to make up for it.
It shouldn't be a surprise that the formula car wins in the corners. After all, that's what it's made for. So do you think the massive horsepower superiority of the Porsche is enough to even the playing field? Scroll down to watch the video and find out, and even if you're not curious of the winner the 911 does some mean powerslides.