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Porsche has released details of its Le Mans LMP1-specification engine that will compete in one of motorsport’s most renowned races this coming July. The power unit is Porsche’s most advanced yet and certainly one of the most efficient it has ever made.
The Porsche 919’s 2.0-litre turbocharged V4 engine is aided by a KERS system that recovers energy from the front axle, and a ERS system that uses exhaust gases. The energy is stored in batteries and used by an electrical motor, adding 247 horsepower to the petrol engine’s 493 horsepower. Incredibly, this combined 740 horsepower power unit is slated to use just 4.07 litres of fuel to complete a 13.6 km lap of Le Mans’ Circuit de la Sarthe.
The FIA, world motorsport’s controlling body, puts this economy and energy recovery statistics into layman’s terms:
“To equate it to a regular production road car, the energy the Porsche 919 Hybrid recuperates during the 24 Hours of Le Mans would allow you to cover 4,576 km in the super-efficient new Volkswagen e-Golf.Â This would take you across the USA from coast to coast, from New York to Los Angeles!”
The Le Mans 24 Hours is not a race to compete in without extensive research into fuel economy, reliability and efficiency. Porsche rejoined the top echelon of the World Endurance Championship this year after more than a decade of racing in the lower categories. It will compete with current LMP1 champions Audi and Toyota. The race begins in earnest on 14 July in France, and ends the following day.
Hopefully this technology eventually finds its way into Porsche’s road cars.