When Porsche announced that they were going to take part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with an LMP1 entry, we knew that things were not going to be the same again. It did not take long for them to shine as only in its second year of competition, the LMP1 919 Hybrid did not only managed to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but also grabbing the title in the World Endurance Championship.
Unlike Audi who used a V6 and Toyota with a V8, Porsche managed to do all those by using a V4 engine. Shrouded in mystery after all these time, they finally decided to share the innovative heart that is powering the 919 race car.
The V4 has a displacement of only 2.0-liters and features a 90-degree configuration for compactness. Porsche managed to squeeze out more than 500-horsepower with a turbocharging system, but the number might be toned down in line with the regulations.
But that does not mean the 919 will soon be underpowered as coupled up with the electric motor located at the front axle, the 2016-spec 919 Hybrid will have around 900-horsepower in its disposal. The electric motor relies on energy recovered from the brakes and exhaust gases which will then be stored in a lithium-ion battery.
In developing the 919 Hybrid, Porsche had learnt lessons that benefited the new turbocharged four-cylinder units in the 718 Boxster sports cars. The updated 919 Hybrid will see its first action at the season opener of WEC at the Silverstone Circuit on April 17.