A new Porsche 911 GT3 R racer with a novel hybrid drive will have its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show on March 2. As with any other Porsche race car, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid will serve as a moving laboratory for the company to explore the use of hybrid technology in road-going Porsche sports cars.
Based on the 911 GT3 race car, the hybrid version adds an electrical front axle drive with two electric motors each developing 60 kW that supplement the familiar 480HP four-liter flat-six 'boxer' petrol engine at the rear.
Therefore, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid get four-wheel drive with apparent gains in traction.
However, unlike your typical road-going hybrid car, the 911 GT3 R does not use a heavy set of batteries to power the electric motors. Instead, this 911 features an electric flywheel power generator mounted inside the cockpit beside the driver to create electricity.
The flywheel generator acts itself as an electric motor with its rotor capable of spinning at speeds of up to 40,000 rpm. It stores energy mechanically as rotation, or kinetic, energy and is charged-up whenever the driver applies the brakes, with the two electric motors reversing their function on the front axle and acting themselves as generators.
Porsche says that with this system, energy formerly converted into heat, and thus wasted, upon every application of the brakes is now converted into additional drive power.
The additional power is available to the driver after each charge process for around 6 to 8 seconds.
In addition, the hybrid drive can also be used to increases fuel efficiency and make pit stops less frequent.
Porsche said that after the car's debut at the Swiss show, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid will be tested in long-distance races around the Nürburgring, Germany including the 24 Hours race around the 14-mile Nordschleife circuit in mid-May.