Why Porsche’s Hybrid is only for garbage trucks
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On the racetrack, the 911 GT3 R cuts a fine figure with its powerful hybrid drive, but Porsche plans to use other systems for road versions.
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For short sprints, two electric motors, each with 81 hp on the front axle, provide the GT3 R with additional power.
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Visually, the 911Hybrid is indistinguishable from a normal racing car.
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The mighty rear spoiler is a typical distinguishing feature of the GT3 in racing configuration.
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Porsche tested the hybrid principle on the Nurburgring in the 24-hour race and in the American Le Mans Series.
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It works like a flywheel. The rotor rotates at up to 36,000 revolutions per minute.
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If the rotor (4) is braked, additional energy is generated for a short time, which the electric motors on the front axle can use.
In the GT3 R racing car, Porsche is testing an extremely powerful hybrid drive. Nevertheless, it is not built in series.
D.he kinetic energy storage in the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid will probably be reserved for racing cars in the long run. This was confirmed by Heinz-Jakob Neuber, Head of Porsche Powertrain Development, at the successful US premiere of the hybrid racing car at the finale of the American Le Mans Series in Atlanta. "This technology doesn’t make sense for a road vehicle because we can’t store enough energy with it." According to this, a road vehicle could only travel a few hundred meters electrically using this principle.
“But on the racetrack, the momentum accumulator has an unbeatable advantage,” says Neuber. No other technology can absorb and release the energy as quickly as the rotor, which rotates at up to 36,000 revolutions per minute. The racing drivers can call up additional energy for four to eight seconds, switch on the two 60 kW (81 hp) electric motors on the front axle – and even overtake where the normal combustion engines run out of air.
Because this boost promises a decisive advantage in the struggle for the fastest time and the more efficient car also leaves more leeway for strategy, the Swabians are working flat out on further development and are already thinking aloud about series production. Not in the street car, but in the cars for the factory-controlled racing series, for example. With a little luck, however, the flywheel will make it from the track to the road: "I can imagine the flywheel as an optional component for our GT sports cars, which customers sometimes use on the racetrack," says Neusser open minded.
However, the work with what is perhaps the fastest development laboratory in the world is not entirely in vain for series development: "We learn a lot for the development of the 918 Spyder," said Porsche sports director Hartmut Kristen. "Because there we want to combine the virtues of both hybrid technologies and increase both charging density and charging speed."
Incidentally, completely different vehicles could also benefit from the experience of Porsche engineers, says Head of Development Wolfgang Durheimer. "The flywheel is always useful when you are driving with an almost digital style: moving off, braking, moving off, braking". In addition to racing cars, two vehicle types come to mind that have probably been least associated with Porsche up to now: city buses and garbage trucks. “Both always only cover short distances before they brake to a standstill again and then immediately start moving again.” According to Durrheimer, that would be ideal for a suitably dimensioned flywheel. So it is quite possible that city buses or even garbage trucks will soon be driving along the test track in Weissach behind the white-orange racing prototype. At least the color would fit.
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