Porsche is back in Le Mans competition this year, and it has a brand new car to compete with. The 919 Hybrid combines a highly turbocharged two-litre four-cylinder with energy recovery and a battery-based electric electric motor driving the racer’s front wheels under acceleration. The entire super-compact, super-light prototype chassis should be a proper competitor for Audi’s barnstorming turbodiesel R18 e-Tron, and no matter how it performs, it sounds amazing.
This video, Jalopnik tells us, comes from a performance test at Circuit Paul Ricard near Marseille. The 919 uses a supercompact V4 — that’s right, a V and not an inline four — that’s extremely turbocharged, running the car’s rear wheels in tandem with a front-mounted electric motor to output a lazy 500 horsepower. All kinds of whiz-bang energy recovery and regeneration systems are in use, of course, with the primary one being a turbine sitting in the exhaust system — very high-tech.
This is the car that Mark Webber will be driving throughout the 2104-15 Le Mans season; the Aussie, formerly of Formula 1 and Formula Ford, previously tested the car in Portugal in December last year. Webber is one of six drivers who’ll be sitting in the 919 Hybrid over the series’ race meetings.
Full details on the car — like most LMP1 cars, which are shrouded in secrecy until they hit the track for the first time — are sketchy. We don’t even know how competitive the 919 Hybrid will be. What we do know is that it sounds utterly crazy. Have a listen. [Jalopnik]