Like Audi and Toyota, Porsche has also updated its 919 Hybrid racer for the 2015 season of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The improvements for 2015 include a boost by around one-third of the energy recovery system, making the 919 Hybrid eligible to race in the 8-megajoule category, the highest of the LMP1 class. Porsche says the reworked drive system is more powerful and more efficient than before.
For 2015, the Porsche 919 Hybrid is powered by the same 2.0-liter V4 turbocharged petrol engine producing more than 500hp, which powers the rear axle, and an electric motor with over 400 hp that drives the front wheels. Electricity is supplied by two energy-recovery systems, with a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery temporarily storing converted braking energy from the front axle as well as converted exhaust-gas energy.
The works team will regularly race two cars throughout the 8 races of the season, with a third one to enter the Spa-Francorchamps race on May 2 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 13–14. Especially for Le Mans, Porsche will paint its cars white, black and red, while in the rest of the races the cars will sport a white paint.
The starting number and color of the red prototype are a tribute to the Porsche 917 KH that in 1970 gave the manufacturer the first of its 16 overall victories at Le Mans. The red Porsche 919 Hybrid will carry starting number 17 and will be driven at Le Mans by Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber.
The black car with starting number 18 pays homage to the black Porsche 918 Spyder hypercar that set a new record for a street-legal production sports car on the North Loop of the Nürburgring. The car will be driven by the same man who set the record in the 918, Marc Lieb, joined by Romain Dumas and Neel Jani.
Finally, the white car with starting number 19 pays tribute to the color Porsche chose for its return to top-notch racing after a 16-year absence. The white 919 Hybrid will be driven Earl Bamber, Nico Hülkenberg and Nick Tandy.