E s is the dream of every engineer: one day a racing car develop without being slowed down by technical regulations. That is exactly what happened in the past six months at the Porsche Motorsport headquarters in Weissach. There, the employees of the stopped LMP1 program continued to work in private and breathed new life into the old 919 hybrid racing car.
The cars were not simply brought into a race-ready condition. They have been optimized in all areas regardless of the old constraints of the regulations. The technicians wanted to answer the question of what performance the Porsche 919 Hybrid is capable of without the strict limitations. In addition, the prototypes were given a strength cure like a bodybuilder in a fitness studio.
All possible adjusting screws were turned. The basis for the preparation of the 919 Evo version was the victorious 2017 Le Mans racing car. In addition, there were developments that had already taken place for the WEC 2018 but fell idle after the end of the endurance world championship at the end of 2017 - as well as specific aerodynamic modifications.
Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo with 1,160 hp
The hardware of the drive train remained untouched. Just like before, the Porsche 919 Evo is powered by a two-liter V4 turbo gasoline engine that transfers its power to the rear wheels. For this purpose, as in Formula 1, braking energy and exhaust gas energy are generated, which are given to the front axle as a boost by an electric motor.
In the WEC, the flow rate of the gasoline was strictly regulated, whereby the combustion engine was reduced to an output of ' only “500 hpwas slowed down. If the engine is allowed to accept as much as it can handle, the curve in the test bench measurement suddenly jumps to 720 hp. The power output could also be increased with the electrical energy - from 400 HP to around 440 HP. In the past, when it came to performance information, it was always a question of secrecy, but the technicians are now proud to announce what's inside the hybrid monster.
The aerodynamics have also been properly upgraded beyond the old regulations. The new and larger front diffuser balances the more powerful rear wing. Both can be actively controlled and if necessary swap downforce for lower air resistance. As with the DRS in Formula 1, the upper wing element folds up at the push of a button and lets the air flow freely.
More downforce than a Formula 1 car
The air deflectors and the shape of the underbody have been optimized under the vehicle. In addition, fixed side skirts increase aerodynamic efficiency. In total, the aerodynamic measures result in 53 percent more downforce and a 66 percent increase in efficiency. This means that the 919 Evo is pressed harder on the asphalt than a Formula 1 car.
To further improve performance, the super-fast Evo has a four-wheel brake-by-wire system for additional yaw angle control. In order to cope with the higher forces, the power assistance of the steering had to be adapted. In addition, the front and rear wheel carriers have also been reinforced.
The curb weight has been reduced by 39 kilograms compared to the racing version - to 849 kilograms. Instead, what is unnecessary for a single record lap in the best of conditions has been removed: air conditioning, windshield wipers, some sensors, the electronic unit of the control monitor, the lighting system and the pneumatic jacking device.
The Weissach company ordered new ones from tire partner Michelin Rubbers which, with the same dimension (31 /71-18), significantly improve the grip level and do not compromise on safety.
Porsche 919Hybrid Evo sets new record in Spa
The team drove with excitement to the first stop of the so-called tribute tour in Spa-Francorchamps to see how well the measures were working on the track. The former Le Mans drivers Neel Jani, Timo Bernhard and Andre Lotterer didn't have to be persuaded to join in the fun for long.
On Monday (April 9th, 2018) the serious attempt to set a record finally started. At 10:23 a.m. Jani went on a fast lap, which was stopped in 1:41.770 minutes. The Swiss was significantly faster than Lewis Hamilton on his pole position lap in the Mercedes Silver Arrow last year. The Briton had lapped the 7.004 kilometer Ardennes circuit in 1.42.553 minutes in August 2017.
“That was an absolutely fantastic lap - an outstanding driving performance by Neel and the result of great engineering work. The track record impressively proves the ultimate performance of the most innovative racing car of its time ”, cheered Fritz Enzinger, the head of the Porsche LMP1 program.
Jani achieved a top speed of an incredible 359 km /h on his lap record. He reached an average speed of 245.61 km /h. “The 919 Evo is brutally impressive. It's definitely the fastest car I've ever driven. The grip level is a completely new dimension for me. I couldn't have imagined that before, 'said the 2016 Le Mans winner, fascinated.
' The processes on a single lap with the 919 Evo are so fast that the demands on the speed of reaction still apply is completely different from what I know from the WEC. Not only are we faster than the F1 pole position from 2017. The lap was also 12 seconds faster than our WEC pole from last year! The race engineers did a great job setting it up and the Michelin tire is a sensation. Many thanks to Porsche for this experience. ”
In the gallery we show you the fastest racing car in the world once again in all of its fascinating details.