The V4 engine layout might not be the most popular engine variant in cars we see today, neither in road cars nor race cars. But that was not seen as a barrier to Porsche as they will actually use the V4 engine in their new 919 Hybrid LMP1 Le Mans race machine.
The 16-valve 2.0-liter direct-injection will be assisted by a turbocharger, but the exact output is still unknown. Unlike the reigning Audi R18 e-Tron, Porsche’s turbocharger is not electric. The V4 used in the 919 Hybrid has an unusually wide V angle.
The V4 is not really a top choice in engine layout as the configuration has problems in achieving smooth running, and so far no top teams in motorsports have been seen running with such engine. Nevertheless, Porsche’s decision must have been backed up by countless hours of testing, especially in the packaging where it allows the optimum positioning of the 919 battery-powered hybrid system. Lightness and fuel consumption might also be some of the contributing factors.
Porsche has announced that they will be competing in the 2014 World Endurance Championship in the 919 Hybrid, with the main focus being the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Among the drivers that will be piloting the machine will be Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Neil Jani.