The rolling, racing laboratory as Porsche refers to it, is helping the automaker to develop on-track hybrid systems as racing series from American Le Mans to Formula 1 begin to implement electrification and alternative fuels into their rules.
Porsche’s hybrid racer utilizes a flywheel that spins up to 36,000 RPM, and the energy story in the flywheel can then be “dumped” to a pair of electric motors at the front wheels. The current, 2nd-gen 911 GT3 R Hybrid gets up to 202 horsepower from the flywheel, combined with 470 horsepower from the flat-six engine. With a curb weight of about 2,800 pounds, 0-60 MPH time took just 2.5 seconds.
So how does one improve on such stellar performance? We will find out next year when the 3rd generation of Porsche’s hybrid racer takes to the track. The Porsche hybrid is certainly gathering a lot of real world racing data for the German automaker, and technology developed on the race track often finds its way into street cars.
Does that mean there’s a flywheel hybrid Porsche coming to the dealership near you? Not necessarily…but I wouldn’t rule the option out, either.