Porsche is getting ready to tackle the Nürburgring 24 hour race in June by upgrading the 911 GT3 R Hybrid that took part in various endurance races last year.
"We've collected a great deal of information from our races on the Nürburgring, at the ALMS race at Road Atlanta in the USA, as well as from the ILMC race on China's Zhuhai circuit, which was an invaluable help for the further development of our racing laboratory," said Hartmut Kristen, director of Porsche Motorsport. "The emphasis of our work was on improving efficiency. That means we want to keep the lap times consistent with 2010 but use less energy, hence less fuel. In this way, we support future developments of road-going, sporting hybrid vehicles."
The main goal of the upgrade was to improve the GT3 R Hybrid's efficiency by optimizing its hybrid components, resulting in a 20-percent weight reduction. While it still achieves the same lap times reached by its predecessor, it does so by consuming less fuel.
The two electric motors' power output has also been increased from 80hp to a little over 100hp, giving the driver an additional 200hp for a few seconds at a time. Depending on the programming, this extra power can be automatically activated through the use of the throttle pedal or by manually activating it when overtaking, for instance.
While it may seem that the GT3 R Hybrid's exterior looks largely unchanged, the optimization of the hybrid system's high-voltage components has actually altered the car's design. The large louvers in front of the rear fenders, for example, are no longer necessary resulting in less drag and lower fuel consumption.
Even the car's cockpit has been completely revised as most of the displays and controls are now placed on the steering wheel. The rest of the car's functions can be operated by the driver through backlit buttons that are located in the cabin's center console. According to Porsche, ergonomics and a clear layout for the drivers--particularly in darkness--was a priority in redesigning the cabin.