Two weeks before the start of the Le Mans 24 Hours race, Porsche has released new info on the most complex racing car it has ever built, the 919 Hybrid. Featuring highly advanced energy recuperation and drive systems, the 919 Hybrid is a very efficient racecar.
According to ACO regulations, the amount of electrical energy each driver can use per lap at Le Mans delivered as a boost is limited, with the rules specifying four classes of energy levels ranging from 2 to 8 megajoules (MJ).
The 919 Hybrid is registered in the 6-megajoule category, which means that the LMP1 prototype can use exactly 1.67 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy per 13,629 km long lap on the “Circuit des 24 heures’’, since 3.6 megajoules is equivalent to 1 kilowatt hour (kWh).
In real terms, this means the 919 Hybrid generates and uses 581.2 kilowatt hours (kWh) during 348 laps of the Circuit de la Sarthe, an electric output which would run a 60 watt light bulb for 9,687 hours. To put it in another way, with the energy the 919 Hybrid recuperates during the Le Mans race one could cover 4,576 km (2,843 miles) in the new Volkswagen e-Golf – roughly a trip from New York to Los Angeles.
The car’s complex hybrid system featuring recuperation of thermodynamic energy from exhaust gases is unique in the World Endurance Championship (WEC), making the 919 Hybrid the only car in the field that recuperates energy not only when it brakes but also when it accelerates. Both systems direct kinetic and thermal energy converted into electrical energy back to a liquid cooled lithium ion battery.
Finally, the 2.0-liter V4 turbo petrol engine that produces more than 500hp must not burn more than 4.78 liters of fuel per lap in Le Mans, according to regulations.
So far in the 2014 FIA WEC season, Porsche has scored a podium finish at the first race in Silverstone and pole position in Spa-Francorchamps.
By Dan Mihalascu