We knew Porsche had been flirting with the idea of returning to Le Mans for a while now, but today’s debut of the 919 Hybrid Le Mans racer in Geneva puts final stamp of assurance on the proposal. What you see here is Porsche’s LMP1 race car with loads of new technologies helping the car compete in some of the toughest endurance racing out there.
Set to compete in the 2014 World Endurance Championship, against the current stalwarts Audi and Toyota , the 919 Hybrid uses three separate modes of propulsion to help it achieve the best fuel efficiency. In the words of Matthias Müller, Porsche’s Chairman of the Executive Board, “It will not be the fastest car that wins the World Endurance Championship series and the 24 hours of Le Mans, rather it will be the car that goes the furthest with a defined amount of energy.”
Updated 12/16/2013: Porsche revealed the official name for its 2014 LMP1 prototype: it will be called "919 Hybrid" and will be making its official race debut at the 2014 Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC). The model was called "919" because it pays tribute to the Le Mans-winning 917, but also to the new 918 Spyder. Brendon Hartley (24) and driver Marc Lieb (33) will be the official drivers for Porsche, while Timo Bernhard (DE, 32), Romain Dumas (FR, 36), Neel Jani (CH, 30) and Mark Webber (37) also announced interest in the new 919 Hybrid.
Updated 01/30/2014: After 16 years of absence, Porsche prepares its return to Le Mans. And with every second of a race being important, the company decided to spend some time practicing pit stops with the 919 Hybrid. Check it out in the new video released by Porsche (above).
Updated 03/04/2014: The official 919 Hybrid race car was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show . The car features an unusual powertrain setup that utilized regenerative braking, thermal energy, and a gasoline engine. Though it may sound the simplest, the gas engine is a V-4 setup and its block is actually used as a structural component. Porsche says they’re excited to return to Le Mans in such a technologically-advanced way.
Click past the jump to read more about the Porsche 919 Hybrid and the company’s history at Le Mans.