Tue, 04 Mar 2014 07:30:00 EST
After months of teasing with camouflaged testers, Porsche has finally unveiled its prototype entry for the 2014 World Endurance Championship, the 919 Hybrid. Porsche, you may recall, hasn't had campaigned a factory team at Le Mans in years, so the 919 is nothing less than their recommitment to endurance racing.
Wed, 11 Dec 2013 17:33:00 EST
Combining a 2.0-liter V4 (yes, a V4) that revs to 9,000 rpm, the 919 produces around 500 horsepower with a pair of energy recovery systems. The first system recovers the heat energy from exhaust gasses as they pass through an electrical generator, while the second system is a bit more familiar. Using a setup similar to what is found on the production 918 Spyder, a generator on the front axle recovers kinetic energy from the brakes, which is subsequently stored in a battery system. That power can then be sent to the front wheels at the driver's command, effectively turning the 919 into an all-wheel-drive racecar.
Despite these various forms of motivation, Porsche doesn't claim to be seeking outright power supremacy, with Chairman Matthias Müller saying, "In 2014, it will not be the fastest car that wins the World Endurance Championship series and the 24 hours of Le Mans, rather it will be the car that goes the furthest with a defined amount of energy. And it is precisely this challenge that carmakers must overcome. The 919 Hybrid is our fastest mobile research laboratory and the most complex race car that Porsche has ever built."
With the Formula One season - and indeed his entire F1 career - now behind him, Mark Webber took advantage of his early release from Red Bull Racing to try out the new LMP1 which Porsche is developing, undertaking the final test session of 2013 before Porsche throws it head first into the FIA World Endurance Championship next April. The session - which followed previous tests at Magny-Cours, Monza, Paul Ricard and the Eurospeedway at Lausitz - was held at the Algarve circuit in Portimão, Portgual, in collaboration with Michelin, which is developing the tires for the car. But that's hardly the news here.
Tue, 17 Jun 2014 09:14:00 EST
No, the news is the first confirmation we've seen on the type of powertrain Porsche has developed for its new Le Mans prototype: a gasoline-burning four-cylinder engine with direct injection and two energy recovery systems. This contrasts sharply with the V6 turbodiesel and single electric motor used by Audi in the R18 e-tron Quattro (or at least the outgoing version) or the naturally-aspirated V8 and single electric motor found in the Toyota TS030. Flexibility in the rules set down by the FIA and ACO give the manufacturers that kind of latitude, prompting F1 teams like Ferrari and Renault to consider developing their new engines for Le Mans prototypes as well.
At this point Porsche isn't saying how large its four-cylinder engine is or how much power it will produce. But it'll be interesting, to say the least, to see how it fares against the Audi and Toyota in next year's championship and at Le Mans when it'll be piloted by Webber, former Lola LMP1 driver Neel Jani and Audi's own 2011 Le Mans-winning pair of Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard.
It's hard not to love the look of a classic Porsche. Whether it's the upside-down bathtub styling of the 356 or the gradual evolution of the 911, there is a little beauty in all of them. However, the older they get, the more that needs repaired to keep them on the road. Porsche Classic is helping out, though, by introducing its own brand of motor oil for the demands of the company's vintage, air-cooled engines.
Developed at the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach, Germany, Porsche Classic Motoroil comes in two weights - 20W-50 for the 356, 914 and 911 models up to the 2.7-liter G-Model and 10W-60 for 3.0-liters-and-up engines through the 993-chassis 911. The company claims that the air-cooled engines have different heat demands than traditional, water-cooled units, and this oil is made to meet those requirements.
According to Porsche, modern, synthetic oils are sometimes too effective when it comes to old engines. They are fantastic at sopping up debris, but those deposits are often holding archaic seals together. Suddenly removing them can cause leaks. The new oil is specifically designed to work with the old-fashioned materials found in its classics. The company also knows that most owners aren't driving their vintage cars everyday. So this formulation is more alkaline that normal to neutralize acids that they build up and corrode components.