Part steering wheel, part remote control, part personal computer, the steering wheel of the Porsche 919 Hybrid looks more complicated than it is…and Porsche wants to explain just what all those buttons are for.
Today’s hybrid endurance race cars like the Porsche 919 Hybrid are amongst the most complicated vehicles on the planet, powered by engines and hybrid systems that cost more than entire neighborhoods. It takes a special kind of driver using a special kind of steering wheel to get the most out of these vehicles as you can imagine, and with 24 different knobs, dials, and buttons to keep track of, they’re not going to put just any idiot behind the wheel of these multi-million dollar machines.
Of course the most important button in any endurance race car is the “overboost” feature, which releases the stored kinetic energy of the hybrid system to give drivers a brief boost of extra power. But there’s a number of other toggles that change everything from brake balance and traction control to the windshield and drink system.
Yes, the drivers have a water feeder system controlled by their steering wheel. There’s even a speed limiter for the pit lane so drivers aren’t black flagged, and the mid-section has a screen to display all the pertinent information. As complicated as it seems though, once you get a handle of it I’m sure it’s like operating any other steering wheel covered with buttons and a LCD screen.
I wonder if they ever get quizzed on things like this?